Here is a checklist of tasks you’ll need to deal with as a recent widow.
Whether or not you are the executor of the Estate—there are a number of tasks to address.
As soon as it is practical complete this checklist for widows:
- Make an appointment or have a phone call with your attorney, financial advisor, an accountant, and insurance agent. What you need to remember is that you don’t have to go it alone.
- Get at least 5 copies of the death certificate.
- Gather all the important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, powers of attorney, insurance policies, will, employee benefits, social security information and veteran’s benefits, etc.
- Notify your banking institution(s) of your spouse’s death. Check the safety deposit box.
- Contact your insurance companies to change life insurance beneficiaries, and health and auto insurance companies to adjust policies.
- Do a credit check through annualcreditreport.com.
- Make sure you have a credit card in your name. Call the credit card company and explain the situation.
- Request a social security benefit if you are eligible.
- Prepare an estimate of all of your expenses including any children’s education expenses and financial liabilities.—Keep paying your bills.
- Change the title or ownership of the car, house and investment accounts.
- Designate a new Health Care Power of Attorney for yourself.
- Update your will.
- Before you invest any life insurance money you receive, make sure you have a financial advisor that you trust and who will take the time to explain the pros and cons of your investments to help you towards long term financial security.
- Establish a support network with people you have confidence in and can help you during this critical point in your life. They can be professionals, a family member or a trustworthy friend.
Remember to take it easy on yourself. This isn’t an easy time. Need some encouragement? Read A is for Accomplishing What Needs to Be Done During Widowhood