How to Help Your Loved Ones Make Smart Financial Choices After Losing a Spouse

Losing a spouse is an incredibly difficult experience at any age. Experiencing such a loss in one’s senior years, however, can be especially tough. During these years, a romantic partner can become not only an important point of social contact but also a valuable support system and friend. Losing those things can have a huge impact, which is why it’s important to be there for our senior loved ones in any way that we can, including looking into long-term care.


Sometimes, this support involves helping your senior loved one figure out how to make some of the relatively challenging financial decisions that inevitably present themselves after the loss of a spouse late in life. Things like funeral proceedings, burial arrangements, wills and testaments, long-term care of the surviving spouse, and other details will suddenly need to be dealt with, but, as Advance Capital Management notes, it can be difficult to wade through these serious financial decisions when one is still reeling from the loss of a spouse.


This is why it can be very important to provide your senior loved one with an appropriate amount of financial advice during the weeks and months following the loss of a partner. Read on for some tips from MJ Housing & Services.


Prioritize Funeral Planning


Funeral arrangements are typically sitting at the very top of the list of issues that must be dealt with post-haste. Unfortunately, the speed with which funeral arrangements must be made is exactly why they often become the source of unnecessary spending. It can be difficult to make clear-headed decisions in times of grief.


You can help your grieving loved one shop around and find a financial arrangement that makes the most sense. Looking at different types of caskets or urns, seeking alternative means of transportation, and speaking with your funeral director about other ways to trim costs are all viable options.


Also, it’s common for people to want to move or downsize after losing a loved one, since the upkeep of a house may be too much. To reduce stress, a smaller and more manageable place might be ideal. Luckily, there are plenty of apartments out there, including almost 800 available in the San Diego area alone.


Remember to Take Your Time


While the funeral has to be taken care of relatively quickly, the rest of your important financial decisions can — and should — be dealt with once the fog of grief has properly lifted. Help your senior loved one to understand that there is no real rush, especially when it comes to major financial decisions, such as determining long-term care needs, in the wake of such a significant loss.


Major decisions, large purchases, and other moves can sometimes be made hastily in the wake of the loss of a spouse, so it might help to gently encourage some patience and planning. Making smarter, sensible decisions can help to ensure that there will always be plenty of cash on hand, which is vital during the senior years.


Once they’ve had time to grieve their loss, you can help your loved one support themselves financially. If they own a business and have been considering retirement, now might be a good time to sell. The process varies depending on the structure, but you will need a full valuation of the business, including all real estate and inventory. Then, you will have to reconcile that information with other financial documents to establish potential profit and to arrange a sale.


If a business isn’t a factor, there are several side jobs that can earn them some extra income, including dog walking, working as a personal assistant, or selling arts and crafts online. Not only will this reduce financial strain, but taking on a new endeavor can make the loss of their partner more bearable.


Update Your Will and Testament


In the event of a spouse’s death, it’s very likely that your senior loved one’s will is going to need to be updated. If their late spouse was named as an heir or benefactor, anything left to them could wind up the property of the state or tangled in legal strings. Trust & Will advises guaranteeing the proper allocation of your senior loved one’s property and assets by helping them update their will as quickly as possible after the passing of their partner.


Massive financial decisions can be difficult to make at just about any stage, but they become especially tough after the passing of a spouse. Unfortunately, the same event causes some of these financial decisions to become especially pressing, which can result in a fair bit of anxiety. By providing your senior loved one with financial guidance and support, you’ll be able to make a very difficult part of life that much more bearable.


MJ Housing & Services offers a wide range of supportive services and expert consulting services focused on developing partnerships with clients designed to improve, enhance and monitor the development of services and programs. Call (619) 693-6202.