Losing your spouse is often considered the single most stressful life event someone can experience. Compounding that stress are numerous financial decisions and questions: Should I stay in my house or downsize? How will I support myself? What benefits should I claim? Should I adjust my investment strategy? However, many financial advisors recommend not making major financial decisions during the first year of grieving.
The loss of a spouse can be both emotionally and financially shattering, especially if you aren’t the spouse who handled most of the finances. Should you find yourself in this situation, here are a few basic financial tips that may help you navigate this difficult time.
You should avoid making major financial decisions immediately following your spouse’s death. You will be in a state of emotional flux and your decision-making ability will be impaired. Instead, focus on what can’t wait and save major decisions until you’ve had time to grieve. For now, you only need to remember the FBI.
- Funeral Expenses – determine how you will pay for funeral expenses.
- Bills – make sure your bills are paid in a timely fashion.
- Insurance – file for any death benefits from life insurance policies and make certain you have health insurance coverage.
In the weeks and months following the loss of your spouse, you will have a lot of questions to ask, and decisions to make. At this stage, it’s wise to enlist the help of your trusted advisors. They can help explain the resources and options at your disposal. These include your attorney, Maestro Wealth Advisors, and your CPA.
Download this booklet now for financial tips concerning your Social Security Benefits, IRAs, Veteran’s Benefits, and a useful checklist.