The loss of a spouse is a devastating event that can be made more difficult without the right planning. While preparing for the passing of a loved one is uncomfortable, discussing the necessary financial next steps can help the surviving spouse focus their energy on the grieving process.
Being unprepared financially can be especially hard if the bereaved was not previously responsible for managing income or paying bills. Having to suddenly oversee it all, you may wonder if there is a financial safety net to continue living in your home, caring for other dependents or maintaining your current lifestyle.
“The biggest thing we try to help a client with is a smooth transition,” said Lorrie Leonard, vice president and relationship manager at Rockland Trust Bank. “Families should be able to grieve, not worry about how to pay next month’s rent.”
The first step is locating the bereaved’s documents to make sure you pay important bills, that you can collect life insurance payments and carry out your loved one’s wishes. The documents should contain information such as the will, account numbers, passwords for online account and phone numbers for friends and associates.
Even in situations when the departed has communicated his or her wishes clearly, the transition process can be emotionally overwhelming. It may help you to develop a checklist to ensure all the loose ends are tied up and household affairs are in proper order. Below are a few items and processes we have compiled to help you create a personal checklist.
Leonard has 30 years of experience and can attest that while losing a loved one is undoubtedly hard, it’s more difficult to process while also trying to make financial decisions. She’s part of a Rockland team of financial advisers who are ready to help you navigate your finances.
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