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Even if all the accounts are joint (a really bad idea, imo) a woman should know the passwords, the account numbers, and how to access everything she needs in order to get the bills paid.

I've mentioned this before, but will repeat: When ChiliSpouse's father was repeatedly hospitalized prior to his death (over a period of 6-7 months), CS's mother had no access to the ATM and his father absolutely refused to give her the PIN. She didn't realize (for several months!) until CS told her that she could write a check to herself and take it into the bank just to get some cash! This made me have some seriously bad feelings toward my FIL at a time when I should have been feeling sympathy and concern.

If something happened to CS, I'm sure I'd feel pretty overwhelmed, but I can pay bills and I have been in on all the meetings with our financial planner and feel comfortable talking with him. I feel that, though I'd be rather panicked at first, I could eventually handle it. And, in the meantime, I have my own financial accounts (though significantly smaller) to keep me going.

P.S. He finally gave her the PIN right before he died, but that's all. CS went down and got all of the finances straightened out and she has done remarkably well for an 87-y.o.
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