When a loved one, especially a spouse, passes away, it can be emotionally overwhelming. Many decisions need to be made in a short period of time. However, proper preparation can lighten the burden. Asking a trusted friend or relative to help manage affairs during this time can also help alleviate some of the stress.
- Don’t make any life-changing decisions. Making major financial or life-altering decisions should not be made while you are grieving. It is best to wait until you’ve had time to process your grief and can make more logical decisions.
- Request copies of the death certificate. You will need official records for filing insurance and other benefits claims and for updating account information.
- If applicable, speak with your spouse’s employer. You may be eligible for benefits provided through your spouse’s employer. If you or any family members are covered under your spouse’s medical insurance, you will want to determine the details regarding future coverage.
- Call your spouse’s insurance company and file a claim. Be sure you understand the benefits and claims process.
- Does your spouse have a will? If your spouse has a will, you will need to contact an attorney to begin probate proceedings.
- Gather financial information. You will want to have an accurate picture of your financial situation.
- Update bank accounts and cancel credit cards. You will also want to update any other accounts, like subscription services associated with your spouse’s name.
- Contact government agencies. You will want to find out what survivor benefits you are entitled to through Social Security as well as military benefits if your spouse was a veteran.
- Change emergency contact information. Any person with your spouse listed as an emergency contact will want to ensure they have a new point of contact on file.
Proper preparation of an estate plan is essential and can help relieve some of the hardship and decision-making when you or your spouse passes away. The experienced estate planning attorneys at Hoover Kacyon LLC are ready to help you plan for the future. Our will and trust lawyers can help you by drafting the estate planning documents you need to ensure that your wishes regarding your property and assets are transferred to the people you desire.