Financial Planning Following the Loss of a Spouse
When your spouse or partner passes away, the last thing you want to think about are the financial issues you must address.
But you’ll have to take action and make important choices before it’s too late. Delaying these steps can put you and your loved ones in financial uncertainty, or even in avoidable hardship.
You’ll need to be involved in settling your spouse’s estate. You’ll need to figure out if you’re responsible for any outstanding debts—and what those are. You’ll need to decide what to do with your spouse’s life insurance policy payments, and with their IRA and 401(k) assets.
Most importantly, you’ll need to understand the full financial picture and how it may impact your life, your children, and grandchildren.
Even with family and friends there to help, preparing for this next stage of your life can seem overwhelming, especially if you were never involved in managing your family’s finances and investments. Working with a qualified, fee-only fiduciary financial advisor can help you sort through these difficult issues.
Key questions surviving spouses ask fee-only fiduciary financial advisors on Wealthramp
How do I estimate and generate the income I’ll need to live on?
Which of my spouse’s accounts and assets will need to be settled through probate—and which won’t?
What documents do I need to file to receive distributions from my spouse’s life insurance policies and retirement accounts?
How do I find out whether I’m eligible for Social Security death and survivor income benefits?
Am I responsible for paying off my spouse’s credit card and other debts?
Will I need to pay estate or other taxes?
How do I invest any inherited assets to help generate the income I need right now and later on?
How a Wealthramp Network Advisor can address your challenges as a surviving spouse
Serving as your independent financial advocate, your Wealthramp Network financial advisor works only and directly for you. They will always act in your best interests.
They can work with you, your attorney, your tax advisor, and the executor of your spouse’s estate to create a plan so you enter this new stage of life with greater clarity and confidence. Your advisor will:
Protect your finances after a spouse’s passing
The biggest financial mistakes surviving spouses make
Never asking your spouse or partner to keep a list of their own and co-owned accounts, as well as insurance policies, in a readily accessible location
Assuming you’ll quickly receive any of your spouse’s assets that have to go through probate
Being unaware of credit card or other debt your spouse might have accumulated under their own name—and that you might be responsible for
Underestimating any estate or other taxes you may have to pay
Failing to file a final tax return for your spouse
Taking withdrawals from your spouse’s IRAs and/or 401(k) accounts without considering the tax consequences
Failing to write your own will and estate plan for the benefit of your heirs