Financial Health When a Spouse Dies
People do not want to talk about the possibility, or even think about a death of a spouse or loved one, and this lack of attention can cause financial burdens. It is in a couple's best interest to do some advanced planning to ensure that the surviving spouse will be able to maintain their financial health and prevent an accumulation of excessive debt. Some important steps to take include making sure that both the husband and the wife have adequate life insurance coverage. The importance of this step cannot be overstated. If the primary wage earner passes away, then the remaining spouse will need to have income replacement to cover expenses.
Another recommendation is to begin a savings plan so there is a reserve of money for emergency situations that allow for a cushion should an unforeseen tragedy occur. Establish credit for each individual so if your spouse passes away this will ensure that a credit history has already been established. Request a written copy of pension plan benefits if you work for a company that offers pension benefits since you will want to find out the specific details. Often times such benefits include a payment to the surviving spouse.
Both husband and wife should know where important records are located and make sure that the bills, bank statements, security passwords and other important financial items are kept in a disclosed location. This will prevent any confusion and help to ensure that accounts can be accessed and bills are paid in timely fashion. Be aware that the surviving spouse of a previously insured worker is generally entitled to social security survivors benefits. Death is never an easy subject to deal with, but it is a necessity in order to make preparations to insure the financial well being of the surviving spouse. Some simple steps can save your spouse from mountains of debt, ruined credit, and added pressure in this time of grief.