Grief and pain. These are the emotions that overflow throughout your mind and body when suffering from the loss of a loved one. Nobody can ever begin to understand what it’s like to be in your shoes, nor will anyone ever wish that type of suffering unto anybody else. Sadly, though, it is something we can’t escape and must face in our lives.
And while we deserve the time to grieve, reflect, think things through, and pick up our pieces, there are unavoidable processes we must adhere to avoid any complications further down the line. On that note, today, we will be discussing how you can properly navigate through your financial affairs to prevent any unnecessary stress adding on top of this already stressful time.
Seek Professional Guidance
First, don’t try to make decisions on your own without consulting others. Especially when dealing with your loved one’s finances, seek professional guidance so that they can help you throughout the process and take part in carrying the burden of seeing things through. In doing so, you will lessen the weight of any necessary financial obligations and grant yourself the peace and time to grieve.
For most people, the passing of a loved one places them in an emotionally unstable state, incapable of thinking with a clear mind and making smart decisions. Don’t try bearing all this work on your own and place your trust in professionals such as conveyancing lawyers.
Organizing Necessary Documents
Second, gather all the necessary documents associated with your spouse’s passing to enable the smooth process of filing for all other legal and financial objectives. You’ll be surprised to know that there are plenty of institutions that need to be informed about your spouse’s death. It will allow them to update their records and adjust accordingly. So, secure certified copies of the death certificate and have them on hand if required.
Other significant documents include income tax return files, financial accounts, life insurance plans, mortgages, and all others that hold any economic bearing or significance. Ensure that you have everything in check, and try getting in contact with your spouse’s accountant to leave no stone unturned.
Third, contact your spouse’s life insurance company, inform them of his/her passing, and begin the filing process for a death claim. This claim will allow you, the beneficiary, to receive the insured party’s benefits to help cope with all the financial obligations that come with their passing. These benefits also function as your support, aid in any other financial affairs, and get your life back on track.
On that note, payout options vary from lump-sum payments, installments, and other agreements, so make sure to go over and review your spouse’s insurance. If there were none predetermined, solicit an insurance advisor’s advice that will best help with your current situation and future finances.
Real Estate Properties
Fourth on your list are real estate properties, which can be challenging to deal with, so we strongly suggest enlisting the help of professionals in property transfer to avoid any complications. You will also need your spouse’s will and trust as these documents often include how they wish their assets to be distributed, including their land and properties.
You might also want to consider securing these places, having them checked, and locking them to avoid any possible instances of theft. Especially if you plan on staying with family in the meantime, this will ensure the safety of your spouse’s estates.
Death and Taxes
Last but not least, you will have to file your spouse’s final income tax return. This document will inform the IRS of your spouse’s passing, help clarify any fees or necessary obligations in their records, and prevent them from filing taxes even after death. Make sure to fill out using Form 1040 and prepare any other relevant documentation that the IRS might require.
In some cases, you might even need to file several tax returns before you’re off the hook, so don’t shy away from requesting the assistance and advice of a tax professional to make things proceed smoothly.
“There Are No Words”
We offer our sincerest condolences to your spouse’s passing, and there are no words that can explain the pain you are going through. Grief is a natural response and is something we must all face, no matter how much it hurts.
Our objective is to give you this peace. Hopefully, by implementing our advice, you will encounter no further problems with your financial affairs and focus on what truly is essential.