Financial Tips for Surviving the Loss of a Spouse
Financial matters cannot be ignored
Surviving the loss of a spouse is never easy. Besides the obvious pain and loss felt, there is often an overwhelming amount of financial business to tend to. Unfortunately, credit card bills still needs to be paid, banking matters need to be appropriately handled, as do insurance matters. For those in an immediate cash crunch, a loan till payday or a cash advance may be arranged in order to gain a little breathing room. However, even with a short-term personal loan, it is very likely that other pressing financial matters will need attention, too.
Financial preparedness is empowering
While no one likes to think about being a surviving spouse, the sad reality is that people are placed in these situations every day. Knowing what to do ahead of time, however, can make a world of difference and can actually help ease some of the stress at that time. Therefore, everyone married or in a committed relationship owes it to themselves to know a few basic financial steps to recovery after the loss of a spouse or partner.
Here are a few financial tips that will help upon losing a spouse:
A New Banking Account
Open a bank account as a single person. Most people already have one, but if not, this is the time to open an individual checking and savings account for all future transactions.
Request approximately fifteen certified copies of the departed person’s death certificate. The funeral home can help with this request or they can be obtained through the county office, which keeps a filing of marriage, birth and death certificates. These will be necessary in order to change deeds, names on bank accounts and other investments, and to collect any insurance monies.
Look for additional insurance policies
Call all of the credit card companies and banks that the departed held accounts with and inquire as to whether or not the person had any insurance policies with them. Often, companies offer insurance at a minimal cost and it is not uncommon for people to sign up for these on a whim. Loved ones are sometimes surprised to find out that their spouse had additional coverage through one of these means.
Contact credit card companies
If credit cards were held jointly, it is important to notify each credit card company of the spouse’s recent death. Be prepared that some companies will lower the credit limit on the card they offer, particularly in cases where the limit was based on the income of the deceased spouse.
Before paying credit card debt
If there is a balance remaining on credit cards that was created by the deceased spouse, it is best to speak to an executor or an attorney before paying these cards off. Often, debt matters are handled through what is called a probate court, which creates a schedule for paying remaining debts out of any monies that belong to the deceased person’s estate. There is no guarantee that matters will be handled this way, but as a precaution, it is best to speak to a professional first.
Update a will or trust
Keep in mind that the surviving spouse’s trust or will also may need to be changed. This is especially true if the living spouse intended to leave all of their assets to the spouse who has just departed. It is important to select a new beneficiary right away for things like life insurance policies, retirement plans and other investments.
When grieving, wealth education is empowering
Overall, the period of time immediately following the loss of a spouse is devastating. Amidst a sea of emotions, handling financial affairs can be a daunting task. This is a good time to lean on someone who is trustworthy and capable of helping with these matters. Always keep in mind that a personal loan or a cash advance is available to assist with immediate financial needs, which can make a world of difference when in the midst of such an upheaval. Finally, although the road ahead may seem difficult to navigate alone, it is not impossible. Although it is not the answer to every problem faced during a period of grief, a good financial education can empower a person to take the steps needed to begin rebuilding their future, once again.