As a widow, you may feel despair and paralysis. However, you need time to grieve. Part of that process necessarily requires delegation. You can't, nor should you, handle everything. There are several essential experts that a widow needs. You may already have a professional and personal support network. However, it’s essential to identify gaps in your support community and ask professionals you trust to educate and empower you.
Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?” looks at some of the most influential professionals you need on your team and the parts they’ll play in your life.
Financial Adviser. Select a fiduciary, fee-only adviser. A financial adviser can help you organize immediate financial issues, such as reallocating your investments. About eight in 10 widows change from the financial adviser originally chosen by their spouse. In many cases, the adviser had a relationship with the deceased spouse and never fully involved the wife in the financial-planning process.
Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney. It’s a good idea to hire an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney in your area whose primary focus is estate and trust law. Ask your attorney if any state and federal estate taxes are due and about any one-time death-related expenses. You must also locate your spouse’s original will and make an appointment to review it with your attorney. If you can’t find the original will, the estate planning lawyer who drafted your documents may be able to help you. Your attorney will also help you with estate court filings, creditor notifications, and asset distributions, making the process as easy and straightforward as possible.
Therapist, Grief Counselor, or Other Mental Health Professional. Losing a spouse can be one of the most emotional times in your life. Not only did you lose your life partner, but also the future you had planned together. Grief counseling, also known as bereavement counseling, can be beneficial in allowing you to cope with your spouse’s death. A good grief counselor will provide a safe space to discuss your feelings while helping you to develop tools and strategies to get through this challenging time and to heal.
Grief affects everyone differently and at different times, so don’t go through this alone.
Reference: Kiplinger (Nov. 23, 2022) “I’m a New Widow. Who Are the Experts I Should Consult?”
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