When going through a traumatic situation like the death of a spouse, there are multiple things that you should do financially that can help you control your financial situation. To help you control your financial situation when your spouse dies, I asked financial coaches and business professionals for things you should do when your spouse dies. From freezing unnecessary spending to creating and sticking to a budget, there are several pieces of advice that may help you take the right steps to secure your finances when you lose your spouse.
Steps to Take After the Death of a Spouse
Freeze Unnecessary Spending
Ideally, before you experience an emergency or traumatic situation, you would have taken steps to build an emergency fund that covers 3 to 6 months of expenses. Unfortunately, for many, these preparations are not in place. If you find yourself unprepared for a tragedy that impacts your finances, it's important to freeze unnecessary spending and take stock of all expenses you cannot pause. Make a list of your essential expenses and determine how much is left to cover emergency expenses. Spending freezes reign in non-essential costs and creates a financial buffer.
- Anna Caldwell, Beyond Finance
Check Obligations and Deadlines
When going through any abrupt situation that may impact finances, we must assess our obligations and timeframes for completing them. Knowing the cost of all the procedures and the basic rules relating to the legal matters we encounter can ensure we won't miss anything. Planning will allow for better decision-making and reduce the need to rush.
- Michael Sena, SENACEA
Take Inventory of All Assets Right Away
One way to take control of one's finances during the aftermath of a traumatic event is to calculate one's total assets right away. By taking inventory of one's assets, they can see what is available to them moving forward. This is also necessary for handling future financial obligations and existing liabilities. If electing to work with a financial professional during the grieving period, it is also crucial to have a rough idea of one's assets to give them.
- Kevin Callahan, Flatline Van Co.
Create and Stick To a Budget
One thing you could do to help control your finances when in a stressful situation is to create and stick to a budget. A budget can help you track your spending and ensure you're not overspending on unnecessary things. It can also help you save for important goals, like retirement or a down payment on a house.
If you're unsure how to create a budget, plenty of online resources and templates can help you get started. And if you need more assistance, plenty of personal finance coaches can help coach you through the process.
- Asako Ito, Divine Lashes