Share

Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What Are the Financial Implications When You Lose Your Spouse?

 

There may be no worse day in your life as the one when your spouse passes.

After a lifetime together, you are suddenly alone. It’s hard enough to just consider the emotional aspects of such a day. But what happens when you have to add legal and financial issues on top of that? It has to be overwhelming. And if the spouse who has passed is the one who handled most of the legal and financial affairs, it may be near impossible.

But the reality is there are things that have to be considered.

As difficult as this may seem, the best thing to do is to consider all the legal and financial issues beforehand. But that is often a challenge because of the emotional factors. Plus, the death can be sudden.

So if you are faced with this situation, there are things you need to do – some more quickly than others.

The first step is to gather documents. You may need up to 15 or 20 copies of the death certificate. You can get those from the funeral director or county health department. You will also need copies of insurance policies, including life, health, home, auto, mortgage, accident and any other coverage. Insurance agents may be able to help with that. Social Security numbers for the spouse who has passed and dependent children may be needed. If you don’t have them, you can obtain them through the local Social Security office. Your marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates may also be needed. Again, if you don’t have them, you may need to contact the county or state where they were issued.

You will need a copy of the passing spouse’s will and a list of all assets. If you’re not sure where they are, you can check with the attorney who prepared the documents. And if there is a safe deposit box, some documents may be there.

Titles on vehicles and property will need to be reviewed to see what changes need to be made. If the passing spouse was in the military, you may need to find discharge papers.

As far as notifications, those should be made as quickly as possible, especially to employers, financial institutions and insurance companies.

You will need to update accounts, registrations and beneficiaries. Joint accounts and credit cards will need to be changed to include only the surviving spouse’s name. And there may be issues with any accounts or safe deposit boxes that only had the name of the passing spouse.

Beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement accounts will likely have to be updated.

If the spouse was a veteran, the surviving spouse may be eligible to receive a lump-sum payment for burial expenses and an allowance toward a plot in a private cemetery. Burial in a national cemetery is free to a veteran, their spouse and dependent children. The funeral director or regional VA office can help with that.

 It is best after a passing to review the surviving spouse’s financial plan and make adjustments as needed. You need to consider lifestyle and future costs in this review.

 Clearly, this is a lengthy and complicated list. Some of it needs to be done almost immediately on a spouse’s passing, and some of it can wait for a short time. And again, while it is difficult emotionally, consider as much of it as you can before the passing.


Archived Posts

2019
2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2014
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013



The Law Office of Sam W. Boone, Jr. assists in Gainesville, Florida and the surrounding counties.

*The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.*

* I have read and accept the disclaimer **


The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Additionally, the comments, statements and articles contained herein are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a basis for any legal opinion, action or conclusion on the part of the reader with respect to any particular set of facts or circumstances.

© Sam W. Boone, Jr., P.A. | Disclaimer | Law Firm Website Design by Zola Creative



© 2019 Sam W. Boone, Jr., P.A. | Disclaimer
4545 NW 8th Avenue, Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32605
| Phone: 352-374-8308

Estate Planning | Advanced Estate Planning | Elder Law | Special Needs Planning | Probate / Estate Administration | Asset Protection | Guardianships | Pet Trusts | Planificación de Bienes | Planificación Avanzada de Propiedad | Reviews | About Us | Resources

Attorney Web Design by
Amicus Creative