Handling Finances When Your Spouse Passes

Physician's Money Digest, November 2005, Volume 12, Issue 15

Physicians know more about the realitiesof death than most professions.Despite this knowledge, many strugglewith the financial steps that need to betaken after the death of a spouse. Becauseof your intense grief, taking care offinances will most likely be the last thingon your mind. If you have a financial advisor,they can be extremely helpful duringthe post-death process. According toMorningstar.com, you'll need to collectimportant documents, such as yourspouse's marriage and birth certificates,Social Security card, will, insurance policies,and bank account information. Also,you will need to settle your spouse's lifeinsurance policy with the company as wellas collect any wages or benefits owedfrom your spouse's employer, if they wereworking at the time of their death.Additionally, money from your spouse'sretirement plan can be rolled over intoyours. Although no one likes to face such amorbid prospect, the best thing you can dois prepare beforehand. Be sure to have awill made, and have a sufficient amount ofmoney saved up to cover expenses andfuneral costs, as well as at least 6 monthsworth of living expenses for yourself.