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Planning for the possibility of losing a spouse

| Sep 27, 2018 | Estate Planning

What would happen if one’s spouse were to pass away isn’t something people generally like to think about. This may tempt individuals to put off planning for this occurrence. A recent survey indicates that many people don’t have plans in place for responding to the death of a spouse. In the survey, a little over half of the widows polled reported that they and their spouse didn’t have such plan.

Preparing for the possibility of one day being a widow or a widower, however, can be very important for married individuals. The death of a spouse can leave a person facing a lot of financial challenges moving forward. How much planning a person has done in advance can impact how well-positioned they are to tackle these challenges.

Among the things individuals may want to prepare for in this respect are:

  • Dealing with the loss of income: The death of a spouse can lead to a big drop in household income. So, it can be important to do some advanced planning for how to handle this drop financially.
  • Care needs: Among the impacts losing a spouse can have on a person is causing him or her to lose an important source of caregiving and support for care needs that arise. So, it can be critical to plan for how these needs will be met in the event one ends up a widow or widower.
  • Government benefits: When dealing with the financial difficulties that can come up following the death of a spouse, government benefits can sometimes be a very important source of relief. So, a person will want to avoid mistakes that could endanger their eligibility for such benefits after a spouse’s passing. Planning could help with steering clear of such errors.

Estate planning is among the things that can help with making these types of preparations. Estate planning attorneys can help individuals with preparing for things that it might not be pleasant to think about, but that it is important to plan for.