Your Most Vital Areas of Focus After Losing Your Spouse

Your Most Vital Areas of Focus After Losing Your Spouse

May 26, 2022

Losing a spouse is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through in their lifetime. Not only is it emotionally devastating, but it also comes with a lot of practical responsibilities. Oftentimes, the surviving spouse is left to deal with everything from funeral arrangements to managing the household and finances, which, understandably, can pile stress on top of sadness. 

Here we delve into coping strategies that involve emotional health (e.g., finding a support system,) as well as financial wellness (e.g., estate planning, getting a financial planner). 

Part 1: Emotional Health 

Give Yourself Some Time and Space to Grieve 

The loss of a spouse isn’t something you just get over and it’s important to remember that  being sad for an extended period isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a part of the process. Allow yourself the time and space to feel whatever it is that you need to feel. Mourn. Be angry. Grieve. Be gentle with yourself and try to remember that your thoughts and feelings are all valid and a part of the healing process. 

Grieve in a Way That Works for You 

Everyone copes with loss in their own way, and there is no timeline for healing. Some people may find comfort in talking about their spouse and sharing memories with friends and family. Others may prefer to grieve privately, through journaling or spending time in nature. There is no correct way to mourn, so do whatever feels right for you. 

Build a Support System 

While coping with the death of a spouse is never easy, there are some things that can make it a bit easier. For instance, many people find it helpful to talk to friends or relatives who have also experienced the death of a spouse. Additionally, there are many support groups available for people who are grieving. While the process of grieving is never easy, resources such as these can help to make it a bit easier. 

Part 2: Financial Wellness 

Like all things in life, grief is about balance. Of course, you need to take care of yourself when you lose a loved one, ensuring you do everything in your power to heal your emotional wounds. But it’s even more complicated than that. Because, unfortunately, time stops for no one. While it might feel like your universe is crashing down on you, the world around you keeps turning and life goes on. 

So, it’s imperative that you not only mend your emotions but that you also dot your i’s and cross your t’s. It might seem this type of pragmatism is a bit unfeeling. However, handling the financial aspects of losing a loved can help to remove potential stressors that may make it harder for you to move forward and feel better. 

Compartmentalize Your Tasks 

There are a number of financial duties that must be taken care of immediately, while others can be dealt with a bit further down the line. 

One of the first things you will need to do is obtain a death certificate. This can be done through the funeral home or the local Vital Records office. You will need several copies of the death certificate, as you will need to provide them to various financial institutions and government agencies. 

You will also need to notify the Social Security Administration. This should be done as soon as possible so that any benefits to which you are entitled can be processed. You will also need to contact your spouse's employer if they were employed to notify them of their death and to inquire about any life insurance or other benefits that might be available. Additionally, things like cancelling credit cards and updating beneficiary information, should be taken care of relatively early on. 

In the months following your spouse's death, you will need to take care of some additional tasks, such as settling their estate and updating your own financial documents. You may also need to make some changes to your retirement plan. While these tasks may seem overwhelming, it is important that they are done. It can be helpful to make a master list of tasks and then focus on them one at a time. 

Hire Professionals to Help with Financial Planning and Estate Planning

Losing a spouse can have a major impact on your financial situation. Especially if you're suddenly faced with managing your finances on your own, it can be helpful to seek out the advice of a financial advisor. A qualified advisor can help you assess your current financial situation and develop a plan to move forward. They can also provide guidance on investment decisions, estate planning, and other financial matters. In addition, a financial advisor can be a valuable source of support during a difficult time. If you're struggling to cope with the loss of your spouse, seeking help from a professional can make all the difference. 

At Triada, we understand the importance of family. Losing a spouse is a heart-wrenching experience, but we want you to know that you’re not alone. Our team is prepared to help you every step of the way, from developing a new financial plan that takes into account your changed circumstances, to providing guidance and support as you navigate the key financial decisions that need to be made in the wake of a spouse's death. With our help, you can make sure that your finances are taken care of during this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.