Unexpected Death of a Spouse or Partner
Jana Graham XPYRIA Team Insights
The unexpected death of a spouse or partner is a time of tremendous sadness, confusion, and uncertainty. Finances are among the first considerations that rise to the forefront, which can add unnecessary stress to an already difficult situation. While many (or most) young couples may not want to consider it, having your financial life in order and yourselves on the same page is of utmost importance should the unthinkable occur.
XPYRIA offers financial planning as part of our comprehensive wealth management solution or as a stand-alone service. Either way, the discussions involved in our financial planning process will help to prepare you for this unfortunate, but possible life scenario. Regardless of whether or not you currently have a financial plan in place, below are some important considerations which should be helpful in preparing for the unexpected death of a spouse or partner:
1 – Have a will and keep a copy in a safe place.
2 – Have adequate and appropriate life insurance (revisit the policies, beneficiaries, and coverage limits once you have children) and keep the policies in a safe place.
3 – Keep a listing in a safe place of all separately-owned and jointly-owned bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts, and credit cards.
4 – Understand what benefits are available through each spouse’s employer and who to contact at the spouse’s employer (HR) with questions (life insurance, accidental death & dismemberment insurance, accumulated unused vacation/sick/PTO time that may be paid out as a lump sum, etcetera).
5 – If one spouse takes charge of paying the monthly household bills (especially if this is done using online bill pay through one of the bank accounts), be sure that both spouses know how to access the necessary information to carry on this task.
6 – Consider pre-planning for funeral arrangements and, if you do this, keep the details with your will in a safe place
7 – Consider sharing the safe location of your important documents and the contact information of your financial advisor, attorney, and accountant with a trusted family member, friend, or professional advisor should you and your spouse/partner both die together.
The hectic nature of everyday life can easily cause some of these important items to seem less important. However, consider taking the time to consider, discuss and organize this information as gift to each other and piece of mind for the future!