Make Sure Your Spouse Has Your Passwords

It’s critical for women to have access to key financial information as well as passwords to electronic records and devices.

About a year ago, my friend Susie’s husband of 46 years died unexpectedly. John, a dedicated techie, left Susie with wonderful memories, an estate to settle and a technology nightmare: an Apple computer, four iPads, four iPhones, a stack of hard drives—and no passwords. That left her unable to get access to critical information (think tax records) and accounts in his name that were on autopay, including Amazon Prime and the cell phone bill.

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Janet Bodnar
Contributor

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.