There are some topics that all of us like to avoid, and one of those, in particular is the death of a loved one. Since the life expectancy for women is longer than that of men, widowhood is a possibility that you need to take seriously.
There is really no way to prepare emotionally for the loss of a life partner. However, you can get your finances in order. If you spend some time and effort in advance to make sure you can answer the following questions, you will ease the burden if the unthinkable happens. Widowhood is an excruciatingly difficult experience; you don’t need financial pressure weighing on you as you grieve. If you were widowed tomorrow, would you be prepared?
Does Your Husband Have A Will?
If your husband doesn’t have a will, he needs to draw one up immediately. Without a will, it takes a lot longer to get closure and all the details can get messy in the process. If he does have a will, you need to know where it is and have easy access to it. Also, it would be wise for him to review his will regularly to ensure it reflects his current wishes. How would it feel to discover after his death that his will still named his ex-wife as his heir?
Where Do Your Store Your Important Documents?
In the aftermath of your husband’s passing, his will is not the only document you will need. Your marriage certificate, his birth certificate, and his Social Security card will be required to do things like request benefits or change the name on your car titles. Make sure you know where all of this paperwork is located, in addition to automobile titles and property deeds.
What Benefits Are You Entitled To?
When your husband dies, you will be entitled to Social Security benefits and possibly other assets like pension benefits, life insurance, and annuities. If he’s still working, there’s a good chance you will be eligible for benefits through his employer that you are unaware of. Have your husband make a list of all of the benefits that you will receive at this death, and ensure you have the necessary information to claim them.
Do You Have Access To All Financial Account Information?
You probably have a checking account, savings account, retirement, and other investment accounts. When your husband dies, the management of them will fall to you. Therefore, you need a list of every account you have, whether joint or in only one of your names, the type of account, the institution that holds it, and the account number.
In addition to your assets, you have liabilities, such as debts, insurance, and monthly utilities. Since you don’t want to default on your mortgage while you’re trying to cope with your husband’s death, record the relevant information for these accounts as well, including how and when payments are made.
Do You Have A Budget?
An important part of developing a plan to move forward alone will involve knowing your current spending needs. If you don’t already have a written budget, begin tracking your expenses and create one. It will be an incredible aid when planning for the future.
Do You Have A Trusted Advisor?
Having a strong support system will carry you through the death of your husband and give you the strength to move on. Part of that system should be a trusted financial professional. In many marriages, the husband handles the finances and it is he who has a relationship with the family’s financial advisor. Once he is gone, his wife inherits an advisor that she neither knows or trusts.
It is vital that you have someone you trust that you can turn to for help in financial matters. Widowhood is an extremely vulnerable time, and many unscrupulous people prey on widows. Take some time now to get to know your financial advisor and make sure you like working with them. Your peace of mind is of utmost importance so, if necessary, find another advisor.
How We Can Help
One thing you will not regret is preparing for possible widowhood before it happens. At Grace Wealth Management, we want to help you create a financial roadmap that will protect your loved ones. We work to prepare your finances for any situation and every stage of life. As you prepare for widowhood, we are here to answer any questions you may have. Contact me by phone at (949) 631-3840 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to setting you up for a secure future.
About Jim Peters
Jim Peters is an independent financial advisor and the founder of Grace Wealth Management Group, Inc., a full-service financial firm committed to helping people pursue their financial goals. With more than 24 years of experience in the industry, Jim combines his extensive knowledge with his genuine interest in helping people pursue financial independence. Beyond his experience, he is certified as both a Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) and Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), meaning he has advanced training and knowledge in financial planning and insurance. Based in Irvine, California, Jim specializes in working with individuals, families, and businesses throughout Orange County. To learn more, connect with Jim onLinkedIn or visitwww.financialadvisorirvine.com.