The death of a spouse may result in dealing with very difficult financial matters, especially for those who may be inexperienced. Many counsellors comment that frequently, the anger part of the grieving process stems from a partner being left to deal with “money worries”. Often the person left behind has never ever had to deal with such matters as their partner took charge of bills etc. If the bereavement was premature or unexpected, this can be even more terrifying.
Not only is the bereaved dealing with their personal emotions and maybe those of their children or other family members, but they may have additional worries too. Within any relationship. one partner usually takes the lead in dealing with the day to day nitty-gritty and everyone becomes dependent on a partner for something.
- How is the mortgage going to be paid?
- How are loans going to be dealt with?
- Is there a life assurance or pension plan to be claimed? If so, how to go about that.
- Has the deceased left a will? Where is it? What does it say?
- How should any available capital be made to work most effectively? Should it be invested?
Even where the finances have a semblance of being organised, there is worry about the future along with matters such as banking and how pensions and investments function. It takes an experienced and patient Financial Advisor to put a person’s mind at ease. Rarely is it a good idea to make big decisions in the aftermath of a bereavement as all opportunities have to be carefully considered. A good financial expert will advise with compassion and empathy. It’s all about reassurance. Matters which need to be dealt with quickly can be prioritised. Issues which may wait, can be revisited in the months to come.
After a bereavement, it can be very difficult to focus wholly on one issue. If economics are not a persons’ “thing”, dealing with this, along with a loss, can be excruciating. Some people just simply do not understand how financial products work. It can be frustrating for family and friends as they try to explain and advise, leading tempers to flair. Money is not a great subject at the best of times. Add distress to the pot and things are not looking good.
Some of the biggest issues which crop up and cause additional stress include and are not limited to:
- Sourcing the information needed to sort out a partners’ affairs
- Comprehending why a partner may have made certain choices and decisions with regards to savings and investments. These may be in joint names or purely in the name of the surviving partner or spouse.
- Knowing what to do with investments and savings which have been inherited and making the money “work”; a lump sum may have been received on the death of a loved one such as critical illness cover.
- Worrying about how life is going to be funded without a spouse or partners income.
- Realising that there is a gap in knowledge which somehow needs to be bridged; learning all about the financial situation and terminology so that future economics can be dealt with effectively. There may be issues such as a child’s university place to be funded in the future.
Money is in general, a very delicate and private matter but it is a good idea to allow someone trusted to get involved with the decision making to help deal with the complexities. This is particularly important in a scenario where the bereaved has never dealt with such issues in the past. Banks, lawyers, bills and trusts can all seem like very daunting words.
Seeking advice from a Financial Professional can bring a sense of calm to an otherwise worrying and distressing subject. Take a look in The Hug Directory for advisors in your area. Slowly and surely control of life can be regained. Knowledge and information is strength. Asking for help along the way is positive.