Financial Advice for Widows

As widows we have learned quite painfully, that life is full of unexpected potholes. That’s why we need to plan for the unforeseen – even more so, now that we are on our own.

So your first task is to get an estate will done that has an incapacity clause. You have to make sure that everything is in place for how you want your assets to be handled when you die. The incapacity clause allows the person you appoint as your successor trustee to handle your financial matters if you become unable to do so.

Now the question is – What if you can’t work full time or you lose your job? You need to step back and think about how you can reduce your expenses. Maybe you could rent out part of your home or think about downsizing. Don’t forget to check into your Social Security Survivors benefits, the amount and when you can qualify for them.

Don’t go on the free advice of family and friends. This is the time to get some real financial advice, so start with your bank and see if they can get you started. I’ve learned over the years that when we dig deep and face our financial reality, we find the courage and knowledge needed to move us forward.

I wish all the widows out there, the abundance of strength needed to deal with your grief and the financial challenges you face.

6 Responses

  1. Robin
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    thank you for all you have written…as a recent widow, my wonderful husband of 29 years, at age 58 died on November 21, children are grown and wonderful lives, success and do not live around me. My husband and I built our dream home and moved in exactly 1year ago..knowing his cancer was incurable,..the last month was hospice and both of us had planned for him to die here..but, the last 5 days, couldn’t manage him at home and had to go to inpatient hospice…hardest decision of my life..and I knew when he left that was it..I am still handling lots of details of his death with his work, but we had everything pretty well set. Then my 94 year old dad died On Christmas I am handling his estate, and affairs..I get a lot done every day, maintaining 7 acres, chickens..etc..but, I am just feeling so sad lately and although I have a grand baby on the way, soon..and planned a trip to the Caribbean with my other daughter in April…I can’t seem to be happy..I feel like I am in quick sand…and until all the details of my dad’s estate, will..etc..get handled I feel as if I can’t move forward…I need to get rid of all the estate planning details, wills finances..etc..and be to live normally..whatever that is..

    • Mary Francis
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      Dear Robin. Your feelings of sadness and being overwhelmed are normal. No matter how much we think we are prepared for their deaths, we can never really prepare our heart.

      Yes we can be financially prepared and plan everything out. We can think with our head, but our heart will go in it’s own direction.

      Even once you have settled your fathers estate the sadness may still be there. Right now your keeping busy doing what needs to be done and so you haven’t given your heart the time it needs to grieve so it can heal.

      So let yourself be sad, you have lost your husband and father and you need to let your feeling be free. Don’t worry that your always feel this way. It’s a natural part of grieving and healing. Take care. Mary Francis

  2. Linda
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    My DH passed suddenly in May 2017. We were married for 35 years & have 2 children together. He has a son of 40 from his previous marriage.

    This stepson is causing me such pain. He is contesting DH’s will, giving the reason that he believes there’s a later will leaving him more. In the only legal will that is around, DH left equal generous cash legacies to all of his three children and bulk of the Estate to me.

    I have had to sell a small investment property at a loss in order to live day to day as stepson has managed to get probate frozen until I can get a Court Order. This is costing me emotional pain, time & money.

    His 2 siblings, my children, are disgusted with his behaviour and want nothing more to do with him. They know how well I treated him when he came to visit and can’t understand his resentment.

    What is it with step children when the parent dies? Why do they take their past hurts out on a grieving stepparent. It’s like emotional abuse!

    What is it with

    • Mary Francis
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      Hi Linda. If it helps at all please know that your not alone with stepchildren problems. It seems that many stepchildren are quite happy to have someone be the caregiver, but once their father is gone things can turn ugly pretty fast. Don’t take it personal as it’s usually about past hurts mixed in with greed that causes all the trouble. Unfortunately there is probably no future with this stepchild so let the courts settle the estate. Sorry you have to go through this while your grieving. Mary Francis

  3. anna-lisa
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    I lost my husband after 33 years of marriage suddenly by a stroke. I was a stay at home mother with one still in college. I found myself with life insurance money i had to invest to sustain me and i was 53 when he died. I have a hard time getting motivated and am eating all sugar. I have tried to read Dave Ramsey to educate myself but i find the lack of conversation and counsel is very difficult.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Anna-Lisa. It’s time to take control of your journey. Decide on what you want and take a step towards it. First step is to take contro of your health. You can’t think clearly if all your feeding your brain is sugar. Do some research on what you need to do – eating and exercise. Make a positive change and write all the details in your personal journal. If you don’t care then who will?? Mary Francis

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