Kiplinger Personal Finance provides some helpful tips for surviving spouses in the days following their loved one’s death. Among them: (1) gather financial and estate planning documents (2) assemble a financial support team (accountant, lawyer, broker, banker, etc) (3) assess cash flow (4) collect life insurance benefits (5) meet with the family’s estate attorney to determine what probate or trust administration needs to be done (6) check with the employer about pension, 401(k) and other benefits (7) roll over the loved one’s IRA (assuming surviving spouse is the only beneficiary) (8) claim a Social Security benefit.
I would add don’t get overwhelmed by the process. Losing a loved one, especially a spouse, is emotionally draining and devastating. Take life a day at a time. If you can get 1 item done each day, that’s good progress. Take plenty of time to grieve. Most financial and legal matters can wait a week or two. If I can help with probate or trust administration needs, please contact me.
(C) 2011, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq. All Rights Reserved.
Good advice – I especially like the encouragement not to rush into decisions, in the deep emotional turmoil of losing a spouse, that could have permanent effects on you or your kids.