In an August 29 GRBJ article, Steve Starnes CFP® offered a number of insights into the financial dilemmas faced by those who have been recently widowed. While you’re grieving, it can be difficult to make decisions about a barrage of seemingly critical questions. “Not so fast,” advises Steve, as he covers the financial activities that can, and probably should, be put on hold.
In “How to make financial decisions when you lose a spouse,” Steve divides his advice into three sections: What to do (and what to postpone) when you’ve been recently widowed, what to focus on after your immediate grief has passed, and how helpful it can be to pre-plan your family’s estate-planning needs.
For example, while you are grieving, it’s important to avoid making any big decisions that aren’t absolutely essential. “Grief is a biological process that affects your ability to make good decisions regarding your finances,” notes Steve. “Even small choices can feel overwhelming.”
He also recommends leaning on others, “even if you don’t usually.” This applies not only to financial, tax and estate planning professionals, but to sources of emotional support such as family, friends or clergy. Seek out relationships “that help relieve your burden,” while avoiding “those that burn up your limited energy.”
Making financial decisions can be challenging even under ideal circumstances. If you’ve been recently widowed, or you know anyone who has, we hope Steve’s article will help.