Benjamin Franklin once quoted a fatalistic and sardonic proverb: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Both death and taxes can take an extreme toll on those loved ones left behind. Widows and widowers face a daunting gamut of chores after their significant other passes away, and the financial impositions can be time-consuming, frustrating, and stressful. Following the death of a spouse, men and women are heartbroken, shocked, weary, and should be left to mourn in peace. Kathleen M. Rehl lost her husband days before her 60th birthday. She has spent the last years mourning his loss and decided to share her story to offer advice for men and women going through the same hardship.
Her first suggestion is: “do not rush into major irrevocable money decisions right away.” While the enormous number of tasks that follow a death would make anyone want to move through the uncomfortable decisions as quickly as possible, the best thing to do is work slowly, especially if you do not understand some of the finances. Another suggestion is to make “house decisions carefully.” A kneejerk reaction may be to leave your home and community and move in with family to heal amongst loved ones. However, relocation can cause secondary grief later down the road.
Lastly and most importantly, Rehl suggests getting “an objective review of your finances.” Family and friends will undoubtedly offer financial advice, all in hopes of helping you through a difficult time. However, a new widow or widower needs unbiased guidance from someone who will thoroughly evaluate his or her finances. Speaking to a financial advisor provides widows and widowers with a “thinking partner” to help make important decisions. Our advisors at Apex are experienced at working with widows and widowers. They know how to put your interests first, while providing unbiased and holistic advice during a difficult time to ensure the road ahead is as fiscally smooth as possible. Call an advisor today to find your financial thinking partner.