We have had the unfortunate honor of working with many widows – both young and old, breadwinners and stay-at-home mothers.  Whether there’s any warning or not, the death of a spouse is a tragic loss, but you can help your loved ones by making sure these basics are covered:

Life Insurance:  If others are financially dependent on you, life insurance (generally term insurance to cover an actual financial need of a specific duration) can replace your income and keep from adding financial hardship to emotional hardship.

Estate Planning Documents:

Will – Directs where you want your property to go, helps to preserve your family wealth, appoints a guardian for minor children if both parents die together

Medical Directive – expresses your wishes for medical treatment, extraordinary measures, and life-ending actions when you are unable to provide those directions

Power of attorney – names someone to manage your financial affairs when you cannot

Financial Directions:  These are incredibly important in easing the process of transferring assets to your survivors and bringing your financial matters to a close. We recommend a centralized location for keeping all your financial info, passwords, estate planning documents, and any other wishes.  Even with everything in place like this, the process can is overwhelming and lengthy, but your family will appreciate what you’ve done to lessen the burden.

This is the time of year that we most focus on family.  Taking the time to plan for the unexpected is a gift to our families that will last forever.