Approximately 700,000 women lose their husband each year. Of all married women, 75% will be widowed at least once in their lives. Despite common beliefs that becoming a widow is the sentence of older women, the average age of a woman in the United States who will lose her husband is 55*. If you or someone you care about loses their husband, what should they know? There are many things they should know and do. Here are 5 of them:
- When meeting with the funeral director, ask for 10-15 copies of the death certificate. These will be needed for filing the Federal Estate Tax return, closing bank and investment accounts, terminating service contracts, filing for insurance benefits, and other transactions.
- Gather your husband’s legal and financial documents (ask for help from a friend or relative to gather this information.)
- It is generally recommended that you or a loved one keep a journal of all gifts, flowers, meals, and any other forms of assistance for future thank you notes.
- Recognize that it is normal to feel “overwhelmed”. Surround yourself and seek guidance from legal and financial professionals who understand what you are going through and have experience in what steps to take.
- Believe that while you may feel like you are in a fog, you can handle the challenges ahead and your family, friends and advisors want to help, just ask.
For more information on this very important topic, please ask for a copy of our latest book, Single… Not by Choice.
*Single… Not by Choice, 2018