Financial Planning and the Death of a Spouse

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Financial Planning

As we reach the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, we can’t help but think about all of the people who lost loved ones. The impact of those losses is deeply personal. They can also have a profound effect on the financial situation of a surviving spouse or partner.

The old wisdom was to advise people to take time to grieve and not make any financial decisions right away. That doesn’t really work for people who still have dependent children or who were counting on having dual Social Security checks coming into the household.

After dealing with the immediate financial items, like gathering records and paying for funeral expenses, one should put together a team of trusted advisors in the areas of law, taxes, insurance, and financial planning. The first two might seem obvious, but a financial planner can play a very important role in helping a grieving person get their finances organized and back on track for the long-term.

“In taking a comprehensive view of your entire financial picture, a financial planner can help you make key decisions that work together to create a better outcome. By looking at your insurance needs, your retirement planning, any inheritance you may receive, and other key areas, they can develop a solid plan for the future,” says Jeremy Hus, Vice President, Financial Planning at Barnum Financial Group. “Even if you already had a financial plan, you want to make sure you revisit it and make any necessary adjustments to take into account your new situation. This includes understanding your sources of income, being tax efficient in your decision making, and evaluating your overall asset allocation to make sure it is appropriate for you and your goals.”


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