Losing a Loved One – What to Do Now (Financially)

The Retirement Financial Center |

Although making financial decisions is a reality – even in times of grief – try not to make major financial decisions right away. Prompt, sensible financial planning and timely actions can help you avoid or minimize potential financial hardships.

  • Contact a financial advisor for help and guidance in financial decision making.
  • Review living wills, powers of attorney and letters of instruction for guidance in making funeral arrangements (if no plans are in place).
  • Obtain multiple certified copies of the death certificate. These are necessary for beneficiaries of all retirement plans, 401(k), 403(b), pension plans, and to apply for life insurance benefits, and Social Security.
  • Pay your bills on time to keep your good credit.
  • Educate yourself financially and maintain good records.
  • Work with your financial advisor to:
    1. create an emergency fund to cover additional expenses;
    2. create a cash flow from retirement and investment accounts to replace lost income;
    3. update beneficiary information on your life insurance, IRAs, 401(k), and 403(b) plans;
    4. update your estate plan.

Source: Financial Planning Association