What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Spouse
[A Preparation Guide]

What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Spouse
[A Preparation Guide]

The death of your loved one is a difficult thing to contemplate, especially if it has already occurred. In the midst of that loss, one of the last things you want to try to figure out is what you need to do with your shared finances. Whether that day is today or years in the future, we’ve compiled a checklist in order to guide you through the details that need to be taken care of. The last thing we want is for the overwhelm of these details to add to the grief.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen that many times here at 210 Financial. People who have lost a spouse and have no idea where their finances are or how to access any of it. It makes a difficult situation even harder.

We hope this list is a support so that doesn’t happen. This list is a comprehensive checklist of all the things you’ll need to take care of, not just the financial details.

While there are several things you’ll want to take care of within six months of your loved one passing (you can click here to grab the full checklist), here are some of the details that require your immediate attention:

  • Contact friends and relatives. Allow your friends and relatives to help you in this time of need. There are people that love and care about you. Don’t try to do everything on your own. Lean on those people that care about you and want to help.
  • Within the first 24 hours, look for organ donation records. Once you have found them be sure to check for signed authorizations and arrange to donate immediately if that’s what their wishes were. You’ll want to be sure to check your state’s donor registry, your loved one’s drivers license, and in a living will. If your loved one’s wishes were not specified, that decision will fall on the next of kin.
  • Inventory safe deposit boxes and personal papers of the deceased. Look specifically for burial insurance policies and prepaid mortuary or cremation society plans. These policies/plans will cover most, if not all, burial and funeral costs. Also check to see if they specified which funeral home to use.
  • Contact a mortuary to make burial (or cremation) and funeral arrangements. Arrange for obituary notice with the local newspaper or with a website. Delegate someone to notify any remaining family members or friends of their passing.
  • Obtain a signed death certificate and autopsy (if applicable). These can usually be obtained through the funeral home or mortuary. If some time has passed, you’ll need to go through the county or state records office. You should plan to get at least 10, if not up to 20, copies as they are required often when sorting through their affairs.
  • Make arrangements for pets (if any) and secure property. Arrange for a friend or relative to care for any pets if you need time to determine their long-term care options. If you have a car, business, or other property, make sure it is locked or arrangements are made to care for it while you settle the long-term plans.
  • Cancel regular elder assistance services, if any (such as Meals on Wheels). Depending on their age, you may have had a transportation service, home care, or other services. Make sure to call and cancel any of these you no longer need. If your loved one was still working, have someone notify their employer.

This article covered the immediate items you need to take care of. If you would like to get the full PDF Survivor’s Checklist that covers everything to be done within six months, click here.

If you are reviewing this list with your spouse now, there is no better time to review where you keep records and how you would like to have details handled in the event of your, or your spouse’s, passing. On what may be one of the hardest days in your spouse’s life, you can help alleviate the details they need to take care of by planning ahead and putting your records all in one place.

Our hope is that this checklist has alleviated some of the stress and uncertainty surrounding your loved one’s passing. We know we can’t remove the loss you feel, but our hope is that this checklist will allow you to get back to what is really important — remembering and celebrating the life you shared.

210 Financial is more than just numbers. The “210” in our name stands for a childhood home that represented safety, love, and family. That is what we want to provide for everyone that we care for. Welcome home. Welcome to 210.

Content prepared by Austin Savage & Co.

Neither the firm nor its agents or representatives may give tax or legal advice. Austin Savage & Co. is not affiliated with 210 Financial or AEWM. Individuals should consult with a qualified professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. 210 Financial is an independent financial services firm that utilizes a variety of investment and insurance products. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and 210 Financial are not affiliated companies. 01086592 10/21

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