Here is the blog I promised that shows initial steps one should take to support yourself or others if a loved one passes. Life can change unexpectedly! I cannot say it enough that the most loving thing you can do is create a financial plan to help your family and children, if you have any. When my husband passed when my kids were 2 and 4, I was totally shocked and numb. Calls were coming constantly to find a church for a service and needing to write and obituary and so much more. You may laugh but I wish there was a class in school that taught you how to write an obituary. This was one of the most daunting tasks. How do you sum up a person’s life in a paragraph? What do you leave in and take out? Everyone has there own thoughts. It would be so kind if each of us wrote a draft of an obituary for ourselves because no one knows what or how to write it gracefully. It may sound gloomy but really it may help put life in perspective. Now practical steps: 1. Is there a will and if so where?My late husband was a lawyer and they are notorious for not having wills. He told his uncle he had one but no one knew where it was so it was useless. We spend hours searching for it and calling people to see if they knew. It was all fruitless. May sure your loved ones know where your safe deposit box is with important info is, where the key is and also valuable passwords. I did not even know my husband’s email password to tell people writing him from out of town that he had passed on. It was also difficult that to stop all his auto-payments. There is a helpful tool called Family Love Letters that you can find online. I would recommend it. You fill in small details like passwords to your internet accounts and list all the places you have money so nothing gets neglected. You also can write a letter to the future caregivers of your children so they know your wishes for the future of your children and what is important for them to know like night time rituals. Remember to also include your parents in this financial planning process. Would you know your mom’s passwords if she passed immediately?
I need to go pick up kids from school. I will write a part two to this email. Remember to order at least 10 copies of a death certificate because you will need them to close bank accounts and credit cards. I still have to use this death certificate over 5 six years later for different issues. PLEASE remember that this can take time to receive. I had to wait almost 5 weeks for a copy of his death certificate. That means that if I didn’t have my own bank account I would not have been able to access money to pay household bills. Many widows have lost their homes and cars because money has been frozen for months while a court case over asset division is fought out.
Hope this is helpful!