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Losing a spouse, no matter how long you were married before he or she passed away, can be devastating. Grieving widows and widowers also often find themselves facing unfamiliar and difficult financial decisions, pulled in different directions as they manage the process of trying to settle their loved ones’ estates while preparing for their own futures.
If you recently lost a spouse, here are five key tips designed to help you get through the business of putting your deceased spouse’s – and your own – financial affairs in order.
- Know you don’t need to do it all immediately. The sheer volume of tasks on your to-do list to settle your spouse’s estate is likely overwhelming. Understand that it does not all need to be done today, and it’s OK to tackle the work bit by bit if that’s more comfortable for you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lean on friends and family members who offer their support, whether that’s providing meals, support with filling out paperwork, or with managing day-to-day household responsibilities.
- Rely on trusted professionals. In addition to becoming overwhelmed with the number of things you need to do, you may also find yourself struggling to understand unfamiliar financial or insurance products and terms. Seeking support from your trusted legal, accounting, and insurance professionals can give you valuable peace of mind.
- Know that this will be a process. There’s no way around settling a deceased spouse’s estate – it will take time and effort. There will likely be a lot of paperwork involved with each step; remember that it’s OK to get help from others with these forms.
- Recognize that life will not be the same. The reality is that things are going to be different now than they were before. When the paperwork is filled out and submitted and the estate is ultimately settled, you will need to get on with living your life. Many widows and widowers have found value in attending and participating in support groups and in volunteering their time and talents to help others.
At The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center, we understand how difficult it can be to lose a spouse. Whether you have questions about settling your spouse’s estate or want to ensure your own affairs are in order, we can help. Contact us today!