5 Ways to Prepare for the Death of a Partner

Preparing for a spousal deathThe prospect of losing your spouse may be the hardest thing you’ll ever face. Taking the time to put things in order before they pass will give both of you peace of mind. Preparation will provide a sense of relief during a sad, life altering time. Here are some important things to consider, and talk about with your spouse and family members:

Stay on top of the finances

If your partner has been in charge of your personal finances, this is the time to find out everything they know about estate plans, bank accounts, savings, bills, policies, and insurance. Do you know what your income will be? Will it meet your needs, or will you need to make some adjustments? The more you know, the better prepared you will be. Be sure you have detailed information regarding –

  • Account numbers
  • Insurance policy numbers
  • Social Security number
  • Passwords and logins for online accounts
  • Utility and service providers

Gather all the estate planning documents

Does your spouse have a Will? Do you know where it is and who to contact when they pass? What about advance directives? Does your spouse have a living will? Do they wish to be kept alive on life support or not? This is the time to get all estate planning documents in order, and updated if necessary. Here are the basic estate planning documents you need:

Discuss funeral arrangements now

Does your partner wish to be cremated or buried? Do you own a burial plot or will you need to purchase one? Are finances adequate to cover funeral expenses? Does your spouse have a prepaid funeral contract with a funeral home? Knowing these things ahead of time, and making sure you understand your spouse’s final wishes will make it easier for all involved.

Make a phone list

Make a list of important phone numbers. Share the list with a family member, friend or trusted advisor to back you up. When you’re stressed, remembering details like this may be a challenge. The list should include both personal and professional contacts:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Physicians
  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Spouse’s employer
  • Attorney
  • Insurance agent
  • Financial advisor
  • Tax advisor

Take care of yourself

During such an emotionally wrenching time, be sure to take care of yourself. Talk a walk. Read that book your book club friends are reading. Stay connected with family and friends. Find a support group. Those who have been through this experience understand what you are going through and can help you on your journey.

It won’t be easy to say goodbye, but with a strong support system and the right guidance from professionals, you will be as prepared as possible to face the future on your own.

Related Posts:

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The First Year of Widowhood

When a Spouse Dies: 1 Reason You Must File With the Probate Court

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