In a new relationship, it's not always easy to share your financial life details, particularly if you have had money problems in the past or have accumulated a lot of debt.

Some loving couples would rather share a toothbrush than a bank book. But if you plan to be with your mate for the long-term, sharing your basic financial information is as important as sharing your health history.

At least once a year, you and your mate should talk about what you owe, what you're spending on and what are your future financial goals.

An easy way to have this conversation is to start by making or updating lists of what you own and owe, separately or in common.

You should know the names, email addresses and phone and fax numbers of the financial professionals in your mate's life. They include any stockbroker, accountant, banker, attorney, insurance agent and financial planner.

Then there are the lists of your assets. They include all real estate, bank and brokerage accounts, cars and boats, precious jewelry, works of art and insurance policies.

Keep your lists in the same secure place where you store your wills, property deeds and your marriage license, if you have one.