The shock of losing a spouse is perhaps the toughest emotional adjustment for anyone in their lives. The financial decisions that follow the loss of your partner can also be immense and immediate. It is easy to become paralyzed and overwhelmed with what needs to be done, and when.
Plan for Unexpected Loss
If your spouse is still alive, it is never too early to discuss the issues that are important to both of you and plan for the unexpected loss of your partner. This could include the following:
Moving Forward from Your Loss (and When)
While it helps to have these initial plans in place, preparation only gets you so far. There can still be a sense of denial when a loved one passes away, not just from the emotional loss but from being overwhelmed by the questions of “what happens now?” and “how can I do it all?”.
Here’s the good news: Not everything needs to be figured out or completed immediately after your spouse is gone. Instead, write down your thoughts and concerns, and then break down your list into chunks of time to ease your burden.
For example, these may be some of the most important issues to immediately address during the first few days after the loss of a partner:
In the following weeks, take time out for yourself to grieve privately and with people closest to you. Do not jump into life-changing decisions too soon. However, you may want to begin working on some administrative items on your list, for example:
In the following months, you can start to tidy up other financial loose ends on your list, such as the following:
Preparing for an unexpected loss and managing loss can be emotional and daunting. Do not go at it alone. Modera Wealth Management, LLC can help you establish and manage your estate, investment, retirement, and insurance planning efforts. We can provide you a one-stop shop to a team of unbiased experts. Let us become a trusted resource to you, both before and after significant life changes, such as widowhood.
Modera Wealth Management, LLC (“Modera”) is an SEC-registered investment advisor with places of business in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Modera may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. SEC registration does not imply any level of skill or training. For information pertaining to our registration status, fees and services, please contact us or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure web site (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov) to obtain a copy of our disclosure statement set forth in Form ADV Part 2A. Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.
This article is limited to the dissemination of general information about Modera’s investment advisory and financial planning services that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be interpreted or construed as investment advice nor as legal, tax or accounting advice nor as personalized financial planning, tax planning or wealth management advice. For legal, tax and accounting-related matters, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified attorney or accountant. This article is not a substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Modera. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. The statements, information and opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice.
Investing in the markets involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security or to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. Individual client asset allocations and investment strategies differ based on varying degrees of diversification and other factors. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or guarantee against a loss.