A newly widowed husband or wife may already have professional advisors and personal support network. However, it’s essential to identify any gaps in your support community and then ask professionals you trust to educate and empower you.
Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?” looks at some of the most important professionals you need on your team and the parts they’ll play in your life.
Financial Adviser. Select a fiduciary, fee-only adviser. About eight in 10 widows change from the financial adviser originally chosen by their spouse. In many cases, the adviser had a relationship with the deceased spouse and never fully involved the other in the financial-planning and investing processes. A financial adviser can help you organize your immediate financial issues, such as reallocating your investments.
Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney. It’s a good idea to hire an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney in your area whose primary focus is estate and trust law. It’s also paramount that you locate your spouse’s original will and make an appointment to review it with your attorney. If you can’t locate the original will, the estate planning lawyer who drafted your documents may be able to help you. Ask your attorney if any state and federal estate taxes are due and about any one-time death-related expenses. Your attorney will also help you with estate court filings, creditor notifications and asset distributions, making the process as easy and straightforward as possible.
Therapist, Grief Counselor or Other Mental Health Professional. The loss of a spouse can be one of the most emotional times in your life. Not only did you lose your life partner, but also the future you had planned together. Grief counseling, also known as bereavement counseling, can be extremely helpful in allowing you to cope with your spouse’s death. A good grief counselor will provide a safe space to discuss your feelings, while helping you to develop tools and strategies to get through this difficult time and to heal.
Reference: Kiplinger (Nov. 23, 2022) “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?”