The blow that comes when we lose a partner is like no other. It is important to take the time to grieve. To find comfort with loved ones, to celebrate our partner’s life, and to mourn the loss. It is also important to realize that this loss will affect every aspect of our lives. In addition to the emotional, it is important to consider and plan for other areas of our life. These include decisions regarding our financial and medical future.
#1: The financial
Once able, it is a good idea to review financial standing. There are various checklists available online to help get a better feel for the steps that are important in this review.
Ideally, part of this review includes a second look at an estate plan. If so, it is wise to review the plan and consider updates. Those who do not have a plan in place should consider getting one. Assets often transfer from one spouse to another without much financial consequence. This is generally not true when those assets transfer to children or other loved ones. As such, a failure to put together an estate plan can mean that assets are subject to steep taxes and other penalties when later transferred to beneficiaries. Legal counsel can provide guidance when looking to make a stronger plan for the future.
Generally, our spouse is there for our medical decisions. They know our wishes and can help to make sure they are met. When our spouse is no longer present, it is imperative to get a power of attorney for healthcare. This legal document allows an individual to name a chosen person to speak on our behalf when we cannot. This can apply whether effected by accident or illness.
Having a better handle on these two areas of our life can help us to continue to move forward with our healing process.