Widows Need a New Financial Plan

It can be a dramatic adjustment to your life after a spouse has passed away, but widows must pay special attention to their planning and their finances after losing a husband. Some short-term adjustments might be necessary to recalibrate your goals and to determine your next steps.

Getting a clear handle on your finances is a first step after a spouse has passed away. If your loved one did advanced estate planning, there may be assets associated with you in a payable on death bank account, or assets that will need to go through probate.

One of the most complex situations can happen when the husband or other spouse did not complete any estate planning. This often falls to the executor of the estate, who may also be the widow to gather up all of these assets and to have them inventoried as part of the estate overall. Debts and creditors must be paid before the widow and other beneficiaries can take distributions.

Don’t delay taking action, because there are deadlines for making some decisions to reassess your finances. For example, you might be able to disclaim some of your interest in the assets belonging to the decedent to transfer them to other beneficiaries, but this needs to be done within 9 months of the decedent’s death.

This helps to give a surviving spouse an overall look at existing estate and financial plans but should be done under the guidance of a professional. A widow will also likely need to update her estate planning documents for any documents in which the deceased spouse was named as an agent or beneficiary.

Talk to our estate planning law firm in Pasadena today to get your questions answered promptly.


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