As partners in a marriage we share many aspects of our lives with one another. This include the responsibilities of smoothly running a household.
While one partner may take care of the daily upkeep of the house such as cooking and cleaning, the other partner may be responsible for the financial affairs and stability of the family. However it is vital for both parties in a marriage to be aware of their family savings and investments especially in the case of a tragedy such as the death of a partner.
After all, during such a difficult time you don’t want your partner to be dealing with financial complications. For that reason, you can follow the steps below which will keep both husband and wife conscious about their finances and protect them in case of a calamity.
Make a will:
In Saudi Arabia, the sharia law is applied while dividing up assets of a family after the death of a partner. According to Sharia law, after the passing of a woman, her assets are handed to her husband. But if the husband passes away, his assets gets divided amongst different family members and generally his wife would inherit a minority part of it. This can be a cause of concern for families especially if children are part of the equation. For this reason, it is best to draft a proper will from the court to ensure that your family gets their fair share instead of Sharia law being automatically applied.
If you are an expat living in Saudi Arabia, create a will in the country of residency and back home. Also make sure that your spouse, your family lawyer and another close family member knows where it is kept so that they can easily access it.
Keep an emergency fund:
During the death of a partner, all accounts under their name will be immediately frozen by the court in Saudi Arabia until all legal issues are settled. This can also include joint accounts, therefore keep a certain amount of cash ready for any emergencies which may rise. Both husband and wife can have a separate emergency funds but make sure that both parties involved can access this fund easily.
Your emergency funds can also be in the form of offshore accounts or separate savings accounts under each partner’s names. Having a set amount of cash stored in a secure place in your home is also a good idea.
Listing out all your wealth:
The spouse which is usually responsible for the finances of the family should formulate a list which clearly states all the assets of the family. This list should also consists of all account information in Saudi Arabia and abroad along with passwords and online access to these accounts. Ideally you should make a hard copy as well and store it in a place where both partners are aware of its whereabouts.
In the list, it is also wise to include information on any contacts your spouse might find useful during a tragic event. For example your family lawyer or your financial advisor.
Hold monthly meetings:
As a household, sit down every month and discuss your financial standing. As tedious as this task may seem, it is key to keeping both partners fully aware of their finances. Besides discussing where all your assets are and how to access them, share any changes you might have made to your emergency funds, your will or your wealth list. Go ahead and even share your investment plans with one another and where you would like to invest as a family unit. This way, both parties involved are conscious of wealth of the family and can be financially prepared and protected at all times.