Financial Freedom

Dealing With Finances After The Death Of A Spouse

This post may contain affiliate links and/or it may have been a partnership. Please view our policy page for more details.

After the death of a loved one, adjusting is always hard. Grief can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to think about practical things at this hard time. Unfortunately, at some point, you will have to consider things like how to manage your finances after the loss of a spouse. 

Dealing with the death of a spouse is hard enough without financial struggles. Follow these tips for dealing with finances after the death of a spouse to help make the transition smoother.

Image

Take Over The Bills

If your partner took care of any bills, take them over as soon as possible to avoid accidentally running up late payment fees. Gather all the bills and check when they’re due, and how much you’ll owe. Check your account to make sure you can afford to pay. 

If any bills were paid from your spouse’s account, these won’t be paid as the bank will have frozen the account. Update the payment details as soon as you can to make sure these bills are paid from your account. Move any accounts that were in their name to yours, and consider removing their name from anything you held jointly. 

Collect Any Death Benefits

If your partner had life insurance, collect it to help you keep the cash flow going while you straighten out the other finances. If your partner was killed in an accident, you may be able to claim compensation, which will also help. Speak to a wrongful death lawyer to see if you have a claim. 

You may be entitled to pension income too. If you’re over 60 or are under 60 with children under 16 living with you, you may also be eligible for survivor’s benefits. If your spouse was a veteran, contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs, as you may be able to claim burial expenses from them. 

Get The Death Certificate

After a death, the death must be registered with the local or state vital records office. They can then issue copies. You’ll need several copies of the death certificate to send to financial institutions, like the life insurer, credit card companies or the mortgage holder.

Organize Any Financial Documents

Make a list of the household’s bank accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement plans, insurance policies, loans, credit cards, and mortgages. Get the most recent statement in front of each. Armed with up to date information, you can prioritize contacting them to inform them of the death and make arrangements to put everything into your name. 

Track down copies of your joint tax returns too, as well as your marriage certificate. You’ll need these too to sort out the money. Change the title and registration documents of any cars your spouse owned into your name. 

As horrible as it is to consider, your deceased spouse could be vulnerable to identity theft. Some thieves will target those who have recently passed away. Change all personal identification numbers and passwords for bank accounts, mutual funds, computer security systems for any investments and finances and credit, debit and ATM cards. Cancel any credit cards that were held jointly and apply for new ones in your name only. 

Don’t Make Any Big Financial Decisions

It can be tempting to make rash decisions in the aftermath of a death, such as choosing to sell your house or the family business or investing money from life insurance payouts. 

Making a choice like this while you’re emotional is never a good idea, as you won’t be thinking straight. Instead, wait a few months to make a big decision. Be wary of anyone who pushes you to invest with them. As unpleasant as it is, there are people who will prey on the recently bereaved as a way to get investors. Take any advice from friends and relatives with a pinch of salt. They mean well, but what worked well for them may not work for you. Wait until you feel clearer. 

If you weren’t previously the one who dealt with the household finances, it might be wise to find a financial adviser to help you get started with taking over handling the money. Ask your friends, your CPA or lawyer for recommendations to find someone reliable, honest and unbiased. You could also visit the websites of The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, The Financial Planning Association and The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. 

If you’re now down to a single income, it’s wise to learn to manage on a smaller budget. Take a realistic look at your finances and make sure you can afford your lifestyle on your new income. Cut back on any unnecessary spending where you can and make sure your finances are in order to care for you and your family. 

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

When you're car shopping there are many things to consider! Here are three tips for choosing the right car for you and your family.
3 Tips for Choosing the Right Car

Choosing the right car is no easy task, especially if it’s...

In our society, it's becoming harder to keep our kids safe online. Here are three simple steps to follow to help them stay safer.
Keep Your Kids Safe Online In 3 Simple Steps

In the twenty-first century, it is scary to think about how...

Going green has many benefits for everyone. Here are five tips for going green in the simplest of manners!
5 Tips for Going Green

If you’ve paid any attention to the media in recent decades,...

Here are some tips to get the quick sale: getting rid of the property without the fuss. Which ones are you using?
The Quick Sale: Getting Rid Of Property Without The Fuss

The property market has long been one of the biggest fields...

Knowing the principles of personal financial management will help you to have financial freedom faster. These simple tips will help you get started.
The Principles Of Personal Financial Management

Being able to manage one’s finances should be incredibly simple; but...

Student loan debt affects so many people in the US. Here are five tips for clearing student loan debts quickly.
5 Tips For Clearing Student Loan Debts Quickly

So many people leave college with a mountain of debt and...

Does closing out a credit card account after your credit score? Read here to find out the answer and what you should do.
Does Closing a Credit Card Account Affect Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit rating can be a challenging task. Since financial...

Just because you are in debt right now, doesn’t mean that it needs to stay this way. Following these tips will help you to dig yourself out of debt.
These Top Tips will Help you to Dig Yourself Out of Debt

It’s very easy to fall into debt. This is especially the...

Electrical Problems Won't Slow Life Down for Long If You Follow These Three Tips to save yourself time and money.
Electrical Problems Won’t Slow Life Down for Long If You Follow These Three Tips

Energy drives almost everything we use in our daily lives, from...

If you're like me, you love technology, but sometimes you need the guiding hand of Best Buy's In-Home Consultation. Learn more here!
Why You Should Use Best Buy In-Home Consultation

We are huge technology lovers in our home. We strive to...

Provide inspiration for your home with CanvasDiscount.com. You can create masterpieces throughout your home with ease. Learn more here!
Inspiration For Your Home With CanvasDiscount.com

This is a sponsored post with CanvasDiscount and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine. One...

It shouldn't be overly difficult to sell a home. Here are some tips for maximize your chances of selling your home fast!
Maximize Your Chances Of Selling Your Home Fast!

Everybody knows that selling a property can be hard work. It...

Here are some tips on how to make money letting a property. These tips are going to help you make more money.
How to Make Money Letting a Property

Putting your savings into property is a great way to invest....

Running a business shouldn't cause you to lose your relationships. Learn how to run a successful business AND still see your kids here!
How to Run a Successful Business AND Still See Your Kids

Being a parent is possibly the most demanding job there is....

Whether your small sales business online is a side project or your full time income earner, these tips will help you to grow your business.
Taking Your Small Sales Business Online

More people than ever are starting small businesses. Some people are...

If you follow these tips on how to make your home office utterly perfect for working in you'll be more productive. Which of these tips are you following?
How To Make Your Home Office Utterly Perfect For Working In

When you’re working from home on any project, whether it’s starting...

Enter to win the Christmas Jars amazing family friendly movie in this giveaway. #ChristmasJarsL3 #giveaway
Christmas Jars Movie And Giveaway

There some family-friendly movies that are well worth watching. Zeva and...

Prepare to be moved by another Kendrick Brothers' movie, OVERCOMER this weekend August 23, 2019. Get your movie tickets now! #overcomermovie #Flyby #ad
OVERCOMER Movie Thoughts

I’ve been a fan of the Kendrick Brothers Production movies since...

Get your family ready to watch the UGLYDOLLS family movie this weekend. Learn more about it here!
UGLYDOLLS Family Movie May Change Society

We live in a society where a person’s appearance is one...

DUMBO movie is coming to life. Learn more about this movie and a bit of information about myself here.
DUMBO New Edition Releases Soon

One of my favorite movies growing up was DUMBO. I was...

shares