Updated: Oct 13, 2020
After the loss of a spouse, the physical and emotional stress can seem insurmountable. Only time can help with the healing but unfortunately, many financial obligations are time-sensitive and add to this stress. We know how hard this can be for widows. 60% of men and women who lose their spouses are immediately burdened by expenses. Getting started on financial tasks may seem daunting but it will bring you the peace of mind you need to start healing emotionally.
If you are a recent widow the main question in your mind might be HOW?
How did this happen?
How do I go on without my life partner?
How do I get started with obligations that must still get done?
You are not alone in having these questions. According to a Merrill/Age Wave Research study, 78% of widows and widowers describe the loss of their spouse as the most difficult life experience they have had to face.
Having just suffered the loss of your loved one, we know it is hard just to get out of bed in the morning, let alone tackle the long list of things that need to be done. That is why we are here to help.
For the 68% of widows taking control of finances for the first time, it can be overwhelming. Below is a list of some of the most important financial tasks for you to do as soon as you can. This is not a comprehensive list but a place to start.
1. Obtain Certified Copies of the Death Certificate
A doctor or medical examiner should provide you with a death certificate within 24 hours of the loss. The funeral home should then complete this form and file it with the state.
We recommend that you get about 20 certified copies of the document as you will need them for future transactions.
Many funeral homes will help assist you in ordering copies but you can also order them from your state.
2. Locate important documents
Some examples are:
Estate Planning Documents
Military Discharge Papers
These papers might be in a safe deposit box or an attorney may have copies.
3. Notify insurance companies and other institutions
For Insurance Companies:
Call and inform them that you will no longer be paying your spouses premiums
For other Institutions:
Call state and federal administrations such as Social Security and State and Federal Pensions
4. Contact your attorney, financial professional, and tax planner.
It is no secret that leaning on friends and family can help you as you move through the grieving process. You should also lean on the professionals who can help you during this time as well. Take the time to call your team of professions. They can help you with a plan that fits your unique circumstances. If you do not have a team or your current team does not suit you. We can help you put a team together that will support you, educate you and who you can trust.
Click here and sign up to receive a Completely Free Thrive Package! This package includes:
The Booklet Overcome the 7 Biggest Mistakes Widows Make When Planning Their Financial Future
The Book, Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook For Widows
And a few surprises just for you!