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A is for Accomplishing What Needs to Be Done During Widowhood

A is for Accomplishing What Needs to Be Done during Widowhood

Becoming a widow is painful, devastating and stressful.  You will not only experience emotional sorrow  with the loss of a loved one. You now have to face financial and legal decisions on your own.
Taking care of your financial affairs is an important priority as a widow.

Here is a list of things you will need to do after becoming a widow:

  • As soon as it is practical, make an appointment with your attorney, financial advisor and accountant.

  • Gather all important documents such as death certificate, birth and marriage certificates, powers of attorney, insurance policies, will, employee benefits, social security, veteran’s benefits, etc.

  • Notify your banking institution(s) of your spouse’s death.

    Contact insurance companies to change beneficiaries if necessary.

    Have your financial advisor change joint investments.

  • Change name with health insurance company and auto insurance company.

  • Put credit card in your name or get a new one and cancel the joint card

  • Change titles with the motor vehicle department and any other jointly owned property.

  • Request a social security benefit if you are eligible.

  • Prepare an estimate of all of your expenses including any children’s education expenses and financial liabilities.

  • Designate a new Health Care Power of Attorney for yourself.

  • Update your will.

  • Before you invest any life insurance money you receive, make sure you have a financial advisor that you trust and who will take the time to explain the pros and cons of your investments to help you towards long term financial security.

  • Establish a support network with people you have confidence in and can help you during this critical point in your life. They can be professionals, a family member or a trustworthy friend.

While most people are honest and trustworthy, there are scam artists out there that will try to take advantage of a grieving widow. Never give your personal or financial information to anyone that you did not contact first.
Answers from AZ