As a married couple, my husband and I have prepared for many things, including first jobs and job changes, interstate moves, first home, the birth of our children, college for our children and our retirement. The one area where planning falls short for many couples is planning for the death of a spouse and life as a widow or widower. There are several things we can do to prepare ourselves and help mitigate the economic challenges after the death of our partner and best friend. One thing we can do is make sure we have an updated estate plan that includes wills (as well as the incapacity planning documents that may help us care for our spouse and finances if our spouse becomes ill). Another practical step is to discuss family finances and accounts with our spouse. Keep a records form (I ask that my clients keep it with their estate plan documents) that lists people to contact, location and account numbers of assets, passwords, etc. You should also meet with a CPA and a financial advisor and discuss retirement, social security and the what-if scenarios. As always, please let us know if you would like an introduction to a trusted CPA or financial advisor. While these discussions are difficult, having a plan in place will help you handle the practical aspects of loss of your best friend.
Death of a Spouse: Are You Prepared?
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Probate of Estates
Probate is the legal process of distributing the assets and estate of a deceased person. This includes resolving all probate property issues like taxes, insurance, title, and paying creditors for any outstanding money owed by the deceased.
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