How to Manage your Finances after the Loss of a Spouse

The pain and anguish is unbearable.  Your world has been flipped upside down and you’re left feeling alone, and confused. Your decision-making skills are more than likely compromised during this time, so only take care of the finances that need to be taken care of right away, like funeral costs.  Remember, you do not have to deal with everything all at once, nor do you have to face it all alone.  Reach out to your financial adviser, take a breath and when you’re ready, consider the following.

Take a look through your bank accounts, bills, debt and benefits.  See what is owing where, and what is available. Separate the accounts based on ownership but don’t feel the need to close any accounts in your spouse’s name right away. Payments and cheques can still be active for up to a year, so place these accounts on the back burner for the time being, but check in from time to time.  Taking a snap shot of the current financials will help you immensely later on.    Future taxation documents will often ask for the value of accounts as of date of death.

Take a look at your life insurance policies, both personally owned, and through your partner’s employer.  There may be funds available that can help you get things in order during this difficult time.  Another thing to look into is government benefits.  You may be able to access these funds earlier than originally planned; however, there may be some tax implications to go along with it. As your financial advisor, I will be able to help guide you towards making the best decision for you financially, now, as well as later in life.

Remember that I am here to help you.  Make sure your questions are being answered and you understand the information you’re receiving.  Their key focus is on your finances and helping to ensure that your finances take the smallest hit - especially when going through such a traumatic experience. 

Also remember that you do not have to deal with everything all at once, or all alone.  Take the time that you need to grieve and reach out when you need it.   



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