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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

February 25, 2013
A Financial Checklist for the Recently Widowed

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Learn how to navigate the important, life-changing decisions you must make following the death of a spouse.


Losing your spouse is one of life's most stressful events. You're probably not thinking too clearly while grieving, but unfortunately, that's when you're expected to make many major financial decisions. If you can't face it alone, ask for help - that's what trusted friends are for.

A few tips:

  • Sort through legal and financial documents to understand where you stand financially – items like wills, mortgage papers and insurance policies.
  • Collect outstanding bills and monitor their due dates to avoid late charges.
  • If your spouse was working, contact the employer regarding unpaid salary and benefits – especially if they hold your medical coverage.
  • Convert joint accounts to your name only.
  • And rewrite your will.

Bottom line: Even though you're grieving, it's important to stay on top of your financial and legal paperwork.

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