6 Financial Challenges Facing Widows

6 Financial Challenges Facing Widows

June 01, 2021

If you have recently lost your spouse, you’re trying to navigate grief while getting your new financial situation under control. You don’t have to grapple with these challenges alone — a trustworthy financial firm like Quartz Financial can give you the guidance you need. These tips will outline potential solutions to common financial obstacles widows face.

Sudden Wealth

You may have found yourself responsible for more money than you have ever had to manage before. When you’re a beneficiary of sudden wealth, you might feel overwhelmed and nervous about making big financial mistakes. The answer? Bring your questions to a financial advisor who has experience helping widows navigate sudden influxes of wealth. You’ll need to come up with a plan for saving and budgeting that suits your new portfolio.

Decision Pressure

Your loved ones may be asking you whether or not you plan to sell your home. Maybe you’re struggling with other big financial choices, like selling your spouse’s car, changing jobs, or going back to school. Wait several months to make any major financial decision — in the wake of a tragedy, making a rash economic move can be tempting, but you may regret it down the line.

Tax Changes

Your tax situation will almost definitely change somewhat after becoming a widow. Whether you think you’ll owe more or less in taxes, meeting with an accountant who has assisted widows before can help you ensure that you file properly.

Securing Benefits and Accessing Accounts

What if you know that you’re supposed to receive certain payouts and have access to your spouse’s bank accounts after their passing but you’re having trouble securing your benefits and getting account access? For example, you might be wondering how to receive life insurance payouts or Social Security survivorship benefits, or you may be worried that you won’t be able to transfer funds from your spouse’s accounts into your own before bills start coming in.

First, you’ll need to do some research to find out which benefits you’re eligible for, and then you’ll need to prove that you qualify — for instance, you’ll have to submit the proper documentation to get Social Security benefits and life insurance claims. To access your spouse’s bank accounts, Sapling states that you’ll need to provide the bank with a death certificate or a letter establishing you as the executor of their estate.

Updating Estate Plan

You will also be responsible for updating your estate plan, which can be confusing. If you had previously named your spouse as your durable power of attorney, you will need to select someone new. In addition, you’ll need to choose a new health care proxy, review your will and trust, and go over all of your beneficiary designations. To navigate this process, work with an attorney who specializes in this field.

Choosing the Right Advisor

Naturally, dealing with many of these situations requires assistance from a financial advisor. But choosing the right advisor can be hard, especially when you’re living in a fog of grief, and working with an unqualified advisor can lead to expensive consequences. To find a reliable advisor, The Balance recommends looking up fee-only advisors who are credentialed as Certified Financial Planners or Personal Finance Specialists.

Handling these financial challenges after losing your spouse can be exhausting. But by doing lots of research and seeking professional support, you can take your next steps with confidence. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to make smart financial choices as you rebuild your life.

Looking for a financial firm that can help you manage sudden wealth? Quartz Financial specializes in sudden wealth situations and taking a compassionate approach to financial planning. Call today at 512-243-5977 to learn more about our services.

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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Quartz Financial and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation. 1-05144676