It’s an unfortunate truth: sometimes bad things happen to good people. And not being in any way prepared only compounds and extends the pain and loss. Such was the case of Chanel Reynolds, reported in the New York Times. Chanel lost her 43-year-old husband in a bicycling accident and was consumed by the enormity of the financial tasks ahead of her.
The challenges she faced veered from the simple (knowing the password to the checking account) to the complex (what would happen to their unsigned written wills?).
Her loss motivated her to create a website where people can get their act together (although she uses a term I can’t repeat in a family blog). It is easy to navigate, straightforward and a great place to start the process.
Another great resource is LearnVest, founded by Alexa von Tobel. Alexa realized she was graduating from Harvard College without ever having taken a single class on personal finance, and although she was headed to a job on Wall Street, she was lost when it came to credit scores, mortgages and Roth IRAs. She recognized that the subject isn’t taught in schools and that there were no existing resources that spoke directly to young women. In response to this, Alexa created an online platform to help women everywhere gain control of their finances. To date, LearnVest has helped more than one million women and has expanded to help everyone gain control of their finances.
The takeaway from both these sites is simple: invest a short amount of time in planning now and avoid having to spend agonizing hours, days or weeks getting the details of your life in order in the event of a tragedy.