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Checklist for Handling the Death of a Spouse

August 23, 2021

From the U.S. News & World Report website

U.S. Air Force photograph – Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank

When your spouse dies, their affairs need to be set in order. You might find yourself planning a funeral, paying bills and closing accounts. The list of things you need to do can seem endless, especially during a time when you are also grieving. These emotions can be especially strong if the death is unexpected.

Start by making a list of everything you need to do, so you can check off the things you have accomplished and make a note of what still needs to be done. “We start tackling tasks and then we forget who we talked to and where we put things,” says Dana Anspach, a certified financial planner and CEO of Sensible Money in Scottsdale, Arizona. “The answer could be a binder. It might mean enlisting the help of a family member to log emails and phone calls and make a checklist. Taking the time to get organized is really important.”

Here’s what to do when a spouse dies:

For more helpful information, go to the maroon bar on our website home page. Go to “Bereavement” and the dropdown menu has additional resources to assist you.

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