A new widow may require help from experts.
Losing a spouse is never easy.
It is heartbreaking to no longer have your best friend and partner.
This is true whether you have been married months or decades.
The death of a spouse means loss of present and future love and companionship.
According to a recent Kiplinger article titled “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?,” the death of a spouse also involves new and taxing responsibilities.
Sorting out finances and other responsibilities in the midst of loss is especially challenging.
Having a supportive community of loved ones, as well as professionals, can help you navigate the necessary actions required given your new status as a single.
Who are important professionals to find for support?
You and your spouse already may have a financial advisor.
If you did, then you may reach out to contact that advisor you both trusted.
You may also choose to switch financial advisors.
In fact, about eighty percent of widows change financial advisors after the death of a spouse.
If you do not have a financial advisor, do not be concerned.
It is not uncommon for a widow to be left with no financial advisor.
Ask for recommendations from your accountant and your estate planning attorney.
Regardless, you current or new financial advisor will be able to reallocate investments and help address immediate financial issues.
Estate Planning or Elder Law Attorney.
Although some attorneys claim to provide a variety of services well, you may benefit from working with an experienced attorney who focuses specially on elder law or estate planning.
As a widow, you will need to locate the last will and any trust created by your spouse and review it.
Ask the attorney who created the plan any questions you have about state and federal estate taxes or one-time expenses.
If you are the executor, your attorney may be able to guide you through court filings, asset distributions, and creditor notifications.
Therapist, Grief Counselor or Other Mental Health Professional.
Grief can be quite intense after the death of a spouse.
You have lost the person who would normally care for you and comfort you in your sadness.
Making an appointment for grief or bereavement counseling can provide a safe, confidential space for you to share your feelings and memories, as well as learn strategies for navigating your time of hardship and healing.
There are many challenges to being a widow.
Do not face them alone.
Reference: Kiplinger (Nov. 23, 2022) “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?”