WTOP Interview: In Case Of Emergency: Creating Your Financial Option B

Interview Transcript:

HILLARY HOWARD: It is 5:12 and it goes without saying losing a spouse is a devastating experience. All too often the surviving spouse must deal with an avalanche of financial decisions to keep his or her life going while in the grips of grief.

HILLARY HOWARD: Joining us to talk about how to prepare for the worst, Nina Mitchell; Senior Advisor, Wealth Advisor at Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda, cofounder of Her Wealth®. Thanks so much for being with us Nina.

NINA MITCHELL: Nice to be here.

HILLARY HOWARD: Death is a topic a lot of us avoid talking about, but it’s really important to plan for the future and future passing because it’s going to happen.

NINA: Truly no one really wants to talk about death and recently opportunity here Sheryl Sandberg speak about her new book Option B and the sudden death of her husband at age 47 and it reminded me of how quickly life can change for any of us and how many women are just not as prepared as they should be. And one plan that immediately came to mind for me was, when I was introduced to a very young widow the day after she lost her husband from 9/11. And she was a stay-at-home mom, she never handled any of her your finances and so this was really devastating for her. Honestly handling her husband’s estate was just the beginning of many financial decisions that she had to make and so if women just want to wait until something bad happens to their spouse to get engaged with their own finances, then the reaction is going to be fear and it just doesn’t have to be that way.

HILLARY HOWARD: So, how do you even open up that conversation to know what to do should you lose a loved one?

NINA MITCHELL: Well, many people just don’t know where their financial information is or who to call in the event of an emergency, so we created a comprehensive in case of emergency checklist that really is your roadmap to guide your loved ones and this checklist should be as detailed as possible and includes all the information about who to call; your state attorney, your advisor, your CPA, where your important documents are, like your state docs, your life insurance policy, your deeds, your title and what accounts you actually have; whether its banking, its investments, its retirement as well as all your bill paying details with passwords. And you know when you’re filling out this checklist, it’s also prompt to make sure that your state docs are up-to-date; it’s kind of like a call to action.

HILLARY HOWARD: You know one of the other things people don’t consider is their social media stuff Nina, that’s something there should be a plan for as well?

NINA MITCHELL: We all live in a world where we have a lot of online accounts for both bill paying and social media like you were saying, so you need to know which of these accounts even exist, that have the information like the password, the username to close them when someone dies. And don’t forget about the online accounts that are connected to your credit card, those also have to be closed when someone dies. So having this emergency checklist is really just your ability to have a sense of control in advance of option B.

HILLARY HOWARD: Thank you Nina.


HILLARY HOWARD: Nina Mitchell; senior wealth advisor at Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda. See the financial checklist and read more at WTOP.com search Her Wealth.