Steps to Take if Your Spouse Dies

Losing your beloved spouse is likely to be one of the most heart-wrenching and stressful experiences you will ever go through.  The most important thing is to allow for the time you need to grieve and take care of yourself. Unfortunately, there are also many important decisions you will need to handle from funeral arrangements to updating your financials.  Various government agencies, financial institutions, insurance companies, and other professionals will need to be notified of the death, along with your family members and friends.  It’s a lot of work and adds more stress to an already difficult situation.

Since we help address end-of-life matters with our clients, we felt it important to assist anyone needing a resource to deal with the loss of their partner or spouse.  The attached checklist was designed to help detail and prioritize, in an organized and easy-to-understand fashion, the steps you’ll need to take after your loss.  Note that while this checklist was created with a spouse or life partner in mind, it will work for anyone whose loved one has passed away.  This way, you can quickly find your path forward while spending more of your time grieving your loss and taking care of your own needs.

An additional tip to keep in mind is that when it comes to financial matters, widows/widowers are often targeted by unscrupulous characters looking to take advantage of them when they’re most vulnerable.  We don’t want to see that happen, so always take time to question whether a decision really needs to be made right away or if it can wait.  Involve the people you trust the most to help you review any major life changes before committing to them.