Administering your spouse’s estate plan after losing him or her is the last thing you want to think about. It may seem unnecessary to need to review and administer an estate plan during such a time of grief. But there may be decisions that need to be made sooner rather than later. In many cases we see that one spouse typically handles the family finances and with this so often being the case, it can be extremely difficult for the surviving spouse once he or she is sorting through the family’s finances. Here’s how to navigate your estate after losing your spouse.

Delaying the Process Can Make Things Worse

It may be hard to pick yourself up and start going through the estate administration process. But, some decisions may be time sensitive. It can be crucial to assess your finances and review the estate plan to ensure you aren’t missing any deadlines when it comes to taxes, or if it’s necessary to start the probate process. With probate there can be certain timelines that need to be adhered to so delaying could cause issues further down the line.

Take Control of the Big Picture

If your spouse was the one who took care of the family’s finances, you will need to take time to review the whole picture when it comes to your assets. You may not be aware of all your accounts or assets, so learning what you must deal with should be one of the first steps. Seeking help from your family’s estate planning attorney or financial planner should be on your list as they can help you navigate what needs to be done while ensuring your own financial security. Review your entire estate and estate plans so you are aware of your assets and what your spouse’s intentions were for those assets. Your estate planning professionals will help guide you through the administration of any assets that are meant to be passed on.

Prepare For Your Future

Navigating your estate after losing a spouse is one of the hardest times in one’s life. Thinking about your own future may be last on the list as you are navigating this time of grief. Remember though that at some point you will need to think about your own financial security and plan for your family’s assets. If you and your spouse put together an estate plan, make sure you know what it entails. It’s important to keep your relationship with your family’s estate planning lawyer or financial planner. Down the road when you are ready to make your own goals, they can help you ensure you’re doing so in the best way possible to keep your financial security and protecting your family’s assets.

Rely on your estate planning professionals as you navigate your estate after losing a spouse. This is one of the most difficult times in your life, so let us be there for you. You can contact us for any questions.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.