Many Brits don't seem to be comfortable talking about finances with their significant other, as new data shows that 27% of those who are married or in a relationship have no idea who their partner banks, saves or invests with. While this is a perfectly valid choice in most cases, it could cause trouble if one of you were to unexpectedly die.
Married couples are somewhat better than unmarried ones at talking about financial matters, but still 20% of married people don't give their partner access to their workplace pension details (compared to 32% of those in a relationship). Meanwhile, 18% of married people don't give their significant other current account access details, and 17% refuse the same when it comes to savings account details.
The findings from Direct Line further show that 17% of people who have been in a relationship for 10 years or more wouldn't know how to locate their partner's assets if they were to pass away. Clearly, this is one taboo that could really benefit from being broken.
Given that many financial products, such as pensions and ISAs, can be passed on to a spouse after death, a little communication, or a simple shared document, could save a grieving partner a lot of trouble in the worst weeks of their life. "As awkward as it may be, it's important to keep the lines of communication open when it comes to money matters," said Jane Morgan, Business Manager at Direct Line Life Insurance. "Whether intentionally or unintentionally, concealing details of your finances from your other half or a close family member can delay probate at a significant cost to those nearest to the deceased."
The easiest way to make sure you both know where your savings are stashed is by having a shared account. You can dip your toe in the joint savings account waters by looking at our Best Buys – many will be open to two account holders sharing control. Then, if you're confident enough, you could consider a shared bank account to make things even easier.
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