And you will have lots on your plate.
Initially you will have to find / ensure you have an income stream from somewhere.
If you have a business, you will need get together with your accountant and lawyer urgently and make sure it is being properly managed.
Find the will, and get to your lawyer asap. He/she will help you get the necessary paper work underway.
If there is a family trust, your lawyer will help you take the appropriate steps. At times like these, the value of a good lawyer who has empathy will become apparent.
Make sure all home and car insurances are in place and paid. If life insurance is to be continued on your life, check who owns it and who should own it.
Make a new will.
If there are investments, get on top of them ASAP – or appoint a trusted adviser to do so.
Instruct your accountant to check all taxes.
Discuss any debts and mortgages with your accountant and lawyer.
Do a budget and see if you can afford to stay in your home. Do you need to downsize ?
Whilst joint assets will now belong to you, you will still need to alter bank accounts, car ownership papers, home ownership and so on.
The Do Not’s
· Unless you have to, do not make any big decisions in the first year
· Do not move house for at least 12 months unless you have to
· Give yourself time to decide where you will live
· Snap decisions while you are grieving are likely to be the wrong ones
You won’t remember this list and you don’t have to – it is here to show you why you need to be informed about your family’s finances.
Beware of scams
While you are grieving, you might be quite vulnerable to scammers by phone or email – be extra careful - if in doubt ask your financial adviser, lawyer, bank manager or accountant.
Loans to children
While everything is up in the air, be extra careful about any big loans to your children. Again consult your trusted advisers first.
Widowed after retirement
Government super will drop from $28,000 pa. to about $19,000 pa. but most of your bills will be the same - a little less for food and clothing but the same for rates, insurance, home and car maintenance, electricity, telephone, sky TV & so on
Hopefully you have thought about this well in advance and planned accordingly (which is why I am writing this).
Money grubbing charming men
There are always plenty of scumbags often prey on women who are lonely, and / or grieving.
Be careful. They don’t always steal your money either, but can be good at helping you spend it.
A doctor who conned a wealthy widow out of £820,000 has been struck off for behaviour that amounted to ‘disgraceful misconduct’.
A wealthy widow lost more than £300,000 of her fortune when she fell for a Casanova conman posing as a lonely heart on an internet dating site.
Once it is gone, they will be too.
Always ask your financial adviser, friends, lawyer or accountant before parting with 1 cent!
Nothing works as well as organisation and attention to detail
There is always a price for putting your affairs in the too-hard-basket.
Do things that need doing today.
Keep your file on your family’s financial affairs up-to-date at all times.
If you don’t understand something, get n the phone or internet and find out.
Supplied by Alan Clarke, financial & retirement adviser, & author. His second book is virtually complete, & he also writes regular articles for the media & on line – see www.acfs.co.nz