(Wednesday, June 5, 2019) – Losing a spouse is not an easy journey. Often, grief is set aside to deal with the ongoing practical matters of everyday life and the new reality of handling household finances as an individual rather than as a couple. The good news is there are a number of resources to assist you; many of which can be found at DuTrac Community Credit Union (DuTrac).
Where Should You Start?
DuTrac is here to help guide you through this transition with the creation of a customized individual financial plan. DuTrac’s financial services consultants will present you with options. Below are just a few helpful suggestions and services:
- Transfer joint savings accounts with your spouse into an individual account (adding other joint owners or beneficiaries as you wish);
- Ask for an overview of your credit union accounts. Consider having a financial services consultant review and offer suggestions to help you manage your checking account if your spouse formerly handled this;
- Consolidate loans into an individual loan (or give consideration to paying off any loans if there is that opportunity);
- Add a new or additional person to your safety deposit box access authorizations. Now is also a good time to locate and identify your safety deposit box key; and,
- Use a DuTrac budget sheet to organize and provide a record of your current financial situation – consider completing this on all of your accounts, not just those at DuTrac, to obtain a complete financial picture.
You may also want to contact:
- An attorney to update your current will, e.g. naming a new executor.
- A reputable investment advisory firm to obtain professional estate planning, investment holdings and/or asset management assistance. Review and/or update beneficiaries.
- The organization managing any pension services, 401(k) or IRA holdings for both you and your spouse. You may need to update beneficiaries.
- Life insurance agents managing any such insurance. You may need to update beneficiaries or reassess amounts of coverage needed.
Questions to ask yourself:
- If you are updating your will and naming an executor – have you spoken to the person you are naming? Do they want to be the executor? Or would it be best to have an outside trust service organization be named as the executor?
- Have you shared a copy of your will with the executor or your family members? In the event of your death, does your executor understand everything in the will, or would it be best to discuss the contents of your will, now, to ensure your wishes are fulfilled and to preempt any unexpected life events.
- You want to give a friend or relative a collectible, but they don’t know it. Do you give the gift now in order to witness their enjoyment of your gift? Gifts before your own death, may avoid the probate process and any associated taxes or fees.
This is a non-inclusive list of items to be considered when a spouse or loved one dies. DuTrac stands ready to help you with your questions anytime but especially when you need thoughtful, objective recommendations regarding life events. Please stop by, phone or email DuTrac with any questions you may have now, or in the future.