My brother and his girlfriend have lived together for several years, but they’ve always had separate bank accounts.
I don’t know if it’s a trust thing or what.
Obviously they love each other and trust each other enough to share a home together, along with all the responsibilities that come with it.
I think for them, it’s just their personal preference on how they manage their finances as a couple.
And more power to ’em.
The problem is, what happens if one of them gets hurt, becomes unconscious, paralyzed, or some other crazy thing happens that renders one of them incapacitated or unable to pay his or her half of the bills?
As I understand how they run their finances, they each pay half from their own account toward the home payment, utilities, and all mutual bills and stuff like that.
I doubt that on their anniversary, he makes her pay half of dinner or buy half of the gift he got her, but you’d have to ask him.
And that’s all fine and great, no judgment from me.
But if one of them gets hurt or an emergency comes up, it would cause a lot of problems if my brother had to suddenly pay the full monthly mortgage or all the bills from his own bank account.
Trust me when I tell you he would not be happy about this.
Nor would she, as a loving, caring, thoughtful girlfriend who wants to fulfill her mutually agreed upon financial obligations in the relationship.
To solve this problem and keep things running smoothly when an emergency, unexpected event, or some other inconvenience arises, they can both execute mutual powers of attorney, where they give each other the lawful right to pay bills on behalf of the other.
It’s cheap and easy to get done – probably will take about 10 minutes of their time.
And it could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in late fees and cash flow spent to cover the other person’s share of the bills.
If you’re in the same boat as my brother and would like to tighten things up a bit for a very, very low cost (and probably even give your significant other some warm fuzzies that you’re thinking about the future), I’ve created a do-it-yourself power of attorney, with clear, step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.
It’s simple and cheap to get it done today.
Here’s the link:
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