Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

Why each spouse needs access to household data

Connecticut residents and others who are married should have access to financial records and other critical household data. In the event that a spouse passes away or becomes critically ill, it may be necessary to gain access to a computer or to an online bank account. Not having access to a device or an account may make it impossible to deactivate social media accounts or put a stop to automatic bill payments.

Having access to financial information may also make it easier for a spouse to manage money on his or her own. It isn't uncommon for one spouse to keep track of bills and take care of household financial issues. Individuals can start learning about their financial situation by reviewing bank statements or other documents that arrive in the mail.

To gain access to a spouse's passwords, it may be best to store them in a secure location. This can either be on a cloud server or on a piece of paper kept in a safe deposit box. Ideally, an individual will retain both a digital and physical copy of all relevant passwords. While there is a chance that these documents could be stolen, it is better to risk theft than to not have access to critical information at all.

The loss of a loved one may come with a variety of emotional and financial consequences. Having access to computer passwords and other documents may make it easier to settle an estate. This could take away some of the stress or anxiety a person may face after losing a spouse. An attorney may be able to help create an estate plan or help an individual retrieve or obtain necessary documents. In some cases, an attorney may act as an estate's executor.

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