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Quiz for the Spouse - Find the Answers Before Asking for a Divorce
Do You Have or Know Where to Find
(Without Asking Your Spouse)...


  • Your birth certificate?
  • Your spouse's birth certificate?
  • Birth certificates for each child?
  • Your marriage license or certificate?
  • Divorce decrees or death certificates regarding any prior marriage?
  • Records showing title to the family real estate and the cost basis adjusted for improvements and depreciation?
  • Real and personal property tax receipts?
  • Income tax returns for the past four years?
  • Title to your cemetery lot or mausoleum, if any?
  • Titles to automobiles, boats, motors, etc?
  • Your social security number?
  • Your spouse's social security number?
  • Social security numbers of each of your children?
  • Where your spouse keeps life insurance policies?
  • A list of the life insurance policies on your spouse's life, including group insurance?
  • The face value (less loans) on all insurance on your spouse's life on January 1 of this year?
  • The name and address of the life insurance agent for your spouse?
  • The premiums, due dates, and beneficiary designations on life insurance?
  • Similar information on life insurance on your life and the lives of your children?
  • What medical, accident, and health insurance your family owns?
  • The nature, coverage's, premiums, and due dates on all property and liability insurance?
  • The name and address of the insurance broker who handles your casualty insurance?
  • The life, accident, health and other group insurance from your spouse's (or your) employment?
  • The amount of social security benefits you and your children will receive upon your spouse's death?
  • A list of any benefits to which you, your spouse or your children my be entitled, based upon your spouse's military service, or corporate stock options?
  • The market value of your separate assets on January 1 of this year?
  • The market value of your spouse's assets on January 1 of this year?
  • The market value on January 1 of this year of all real estate, stocks, corporate bonds, government bonds, and other property owned with your spouse (or anyone) in any form of joint ownership?
  • The location and number of any safe deposit box in your spouse's name, your name or joint names?
  • The location of the keys to the safe deposit box and the parties who have access thereto and the passwords, if any?
  • All family bank accounts, including the banks, the titles of the accounts, and the persons who have powers of attorney?
  • Where your spouse's Will is kept?
  • The contents of your spouse's Will, including the name of the personal representative?
  • Whether you have a power of appointment under your spouse's Will or any other instrument?
  • The name and address of the attorney who drew the Will or should represent the estate?
  • (You should know her or him personally.)
  • The name and address of the accountant whom your spouse employs on personal affairs?
  • The name and address of the preparer of your tax returns?
  • Your spouse's principal banking contact?
  • The names of the stockbrokers you and your spouse use?
  • The approximate family income for the fast year?
  • Your spouse's various business interests, including percentage of ownership, rights upon death or the death of an associate, and whether such businesses are operated as corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorship?
  • The desires of your spouse, and you, for the disposition of any closely held business?

Do You and Your Spouse Have...


  • At least $1,000,000 of liability coverage on your automobile?
  • Up-to-date beneficiary provisions on life insurance that have been reviewed within the last three years?
  • Current Wills (or Wills and Trusts)? This includes:
    • Have they been reviewed in the past two to three years or since new circumstances have arisen?
    • Currently acceptable personal representatives, trustees, and testamentary guardians named in your Wills?
    • An estate plan that has considered taking advantage of the marital deduction if gross family assets, including life insurance and joint property, exceed $675,000 (2001)?
  • An estate plan which has considered gifts to your children to minimize your income and estate taxes, finance their education, and start building their estate?
  • Fire insurance on your home and contents that has been checked within the last two years for the amount of coverage and the type of policy?
  • An appraisal or listing of your tangible personal property?
  • An appropriate amount of insurance on your jewelry, furs, an art objects based on recent appraisals?
  • Adequate personal and household liability insurance?
  • Knowledge of the possible gift tax liability for your home, bank account, securities or other assets placed in your joint names?
  • Complete understanding and acceptance of one another's estate plan?


0 -12 "YES": Terrible. Don't sit there. Rush to your spouse and demand answers.

13 - 22 "YES": Average. That doesn't mean "good." You need more information quickly!!

23 - 32 "YES": Well above average, but you still know only about half of what you should know. Ask - soon!!

33 - 42 "YES": Remarkable. You are among the very best informed spouses, a fraction of 15 of the total.

43 - 52 "YES": Go to your spouse's office and take over. Hurry - you are better than he or she is.

If you are going through a divorce, or contemplating one ... go easy!!!

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