Wanna read the latest
from Clever Magazine?
By Sam Akerson and Diannek
to do first:
the family members (and if the spouse is employed, notify the employer).
the funeral home – you’ll need spouse’s personal information, such
as date of birth, social security number, and lots of details for the
death certificate. You’ll also be asked to provide information for the
newspaper obituary (which can be submitted to the newspaper only by the
for the memorial or funeral service. The family and funeral home will help
you with this. Ask a few friends or family members if they would prepare a
eulogy for the service. Friends are more likely to say a few kind words if
they have a little time beforehand to think about it.
will: in most cases, the estate goes to the surviving spouse. The will
becomes much more important when the surviving spouse dies.)
to do next:
Security – the funeral home usually takes care of notifying them about
the death and will apply for the death benefit (and apply it towards the
cost of their services). They should also have information on survivor
benefits and will help you getting started with this procedure.
Obtain at least 12 copies of the death certificate. You
will need these in order to collect on insurance policies, change
ownership titles to house, car, bank accounts, credit cards, stock and
bond portfolios, loans and so forth. It is possible to take care of these
matters personally, but if you need assistance, consider contacting an
attorney and/or a tax consultant.
Beforehand, both spouses should know everything about their family
income and expenses. This should include knowledge of:
-The checking account, and how to pay the monthly bills.
Where the receipts are kept for tax purposes. And where the tax returns
-All loans, mortgages, debts of all kinds, including when
and how to make the payments. Both spouses should also have a rough idea
of outstanding balances of all debt.
-Any unusual situations that might be difficult for the
surviving spouse to handle, such as business relationships, outstanding
personal loans or debts that may be owed by others, or any unusual income
tax issues that may be in process.
-Where all the “important papers” are kept, how they
are filed, how to get into the safe deposit box, open the safe, and unlock
passwords for internet accounts, where the hidden stashes are located.
-Both spouses should have knowledge of the other’s
“last wishes” which would include whether they wish to be buried or
cremated; any special funeral or memorial service requests; if any
personal items are to be “willed” to specific family members; and
special requests about pets, charities, friends, family members or any
other usual loose ends that could be taken care of.
-By the way, according to Sam, funeral homes are now by law required to quote their prices over the phone. Sam says prices vary a great deal from place to place, so it doesn't hurt to shop around beforehand. If you wait until the event itself, you are apt to make an emotional decision rather than a sound financial decision.
the more both spouses know about these details, the easier
it will be for the surviving spouse to get through this trying time of
life. Statistically, it is the
wives who survive and oftentimes they have a difficult time getting
through the financial maze. One of the ways to “finish well” is to
take care of this part of life.
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