Kiplinger’s recent article entitled, “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?” looks at some of the most important professionals you need on your team when your spouse passes.
Financial Adviser. A financial adviser should be a fiduciary, fee-only adviser and more than eight in 10 widows switch from the financial adviser originally chosen by their spouse. That’s because, frequently, the adviser had a relationship with the deceased spouse and never fully involved the wife in the financial planning and investing processes. A financial adviser can help sort out your immediate financial issues, such as settling portions of an estate. However, their main purpose is to help you plan your long-term financial future. Remember that you’ll have different financial issues as a widow than you did as a couple.
Estate Planning Attorney. Locate your spouse’s original will and make an appointment to review it with an experienced estate planning attorney in your area. Ask the attorney about any possible state and federal estate taxes due, along with any unforeseen death-related expenses. Your attorney will also help you with estate court filings, creditor notifications and asset distributions— making the process as easy and straightforward as possible.
Therapist, Grief Counselor, or Other Mental Health Professional. In addition to addressing your financial future, your emotional and mental health is of vital importance. Losing a spouse can be one of the most emotional life events we face. Not only did you lose your life partner, but also the future that you had planned together.
Grief counseling, also known as bereavement counseling, can be especially helpful in allowing you to cope with your spouse’s death. A good grief counselor will provide a safe space to discuss your feelings and help you to develop tools and strategies to get through this difficult time and to heal.
Grief affects everyone differently and at different times.
It’s important not to go through this alone. Your team of advisers can help guide you toward a professional who is experienced in grief counseling.
Reference: Kiplinger (Nov. 23, 2022) “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?”