First, Social Security is an important call to make when you live in the United States. I know many readers are now outside the US but I only now laws in our country. I was shocked to know there is aid for young widows and their children. It is interesting because I have had to go back in to the social security office a few times and I am surprised how many people who work there do not know anything about this benefit. Make sure you persist if no one says this exists because there is a benefit if you make under a certain amount (approximately $24,000) and then your children are also eligible for monthly benefits until the age of 18. Some people may also qualify for burial allowance. Please make sure you know or have again in a safe deposit box easy access to your spouse or loved ones social security. You will need it often during all the steps to close joint bank accounts and file insurance claims.
Please clip a copy of the obituary in a dated newspaper because some insurance companies won’t process a claim without it.
WARNING: Please have someone stay at the loved ones house during the funeral service!!!! It is very publicly stated in a newspaper and possibly other places that you will be away from the house at that specific time. Unfortunately, many burglaries have occurred during a funeral. There is enough sadness at the moment, no need to add anymore grief.This is the key moment when you learn how much financial information has been accurately communicated to a spouse. If you have a financial professional then great. It will be easier. Please call them and have them freeze the account and ask them to file for insurance or annuity proceeds. If you do not have a financial professsional, please call the human resources office where the loved one work and see if there is any insurance proceeds through the workplace. I received one year of my husband’s salary which was very beneficial.
Please let other people help during this process. Everyone is numb and unable to fully comprehend the effects of the loss of this individual. Asking for help can be a healing process for everyone. My mom and her friend came into my house and cleaned out all my husband’s clothes and donated them. I could never have done that myself. We did save one jacket and tie for each of my son’s so they could keep a special thing their Dad loved.
LAST NOTE: My boys were 2 and 4 when their dad unexpectedly passed. I had the funeral taped so they could see it when they are older. My boys are six years older now and unfortunately have almost no memory of him. I never wanted them to have lots of unanswered questions about their father’s death. I think this was helpful. I also had a room where people could tape personal messages that explain funny things their dad did or sweet messages to the kids. I also keep that in the safe deposit box. My late husband’s father passed on young and it deeply worried and affected him. Some could say that he lived out his worst fear. I don’t my sons to have that same fear so I have taken all steps I know of to hopefully alleviate that possibility.
I only share these ideas in hopes they can help other people Take care!