Getting Organized will Help Your Sanity - Protect Yourself

May 30, 2022

Organizing your financial life will help you feel more in control. After all, you've had a lot on your mind and, hopefully, the dust has settled a bit. Use this list to assure your accounts and assets are properly titled/updated and/or closed and that your estate planning documents reflect your wishes going forward. It's easy to overlook these finer details yet they are extremely important.


  • Joint checking, savings and investment accounts
  • Joint credit cards or cards that you authorized your former spouse to use (make sure they are paid off first)


  • Vehicles and boats- and sign a beneficiary deed (obtain from DMV)
  • Home ownership - and consider a transfer-on- death beneficiary deed (consult an attorney or laws in your state for specific information)



  • Beneficiaries on new checking, savings and investment accounts
  • Beneficiaries on life insurance policies (group and individual)
  • Will, medical directives, financial and medical powers of attorney, trust
  • All digital passwords and PIN numbers
  • Employee benefits department with emergency contacts and your single tax filing status (W-4)


  • Health insurance options if previously covered under your former spouse’s employer medical coverage.  You may be able to stay on COBRA for up to 36 months if the employer has >20 employers.  It’s generally more expensive, however.  Check out your options under the Affordable Care Act here.
  • Social security benefits if you are 62 or older.  If married for at least 10 years you may be  eligible for some of your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefit.  More information here.
  • Your free credit reports  for accuracy.  

Maintain copies of all documents in a safe place, and let your loved ones know where they are stored, whether in a physical or digital file. Take a deep breath!