Losing your spouse can be a critical moment in your life that requires the support of friends and family and plenty of time to heal. You should also gather a trusted team of experts who can help a new widow through new and likely unwelcome territory.
You may already have a professional and personal support network, which is a good start, but it’s important to identify any gaps in your support community and then hire trusted professionals to train and empower you.
So where do you start? Here’s a look at some of the key professionals you need on your team and the roles they will play in your life.
A financial advisor is one of the most trusted members of your team. The person you choose should be a fiduciary paid advisor. Many widows are already in a relationship with a financial advisor after the death of their spouse, but end up switching to another advisor who they feel is a better fit.
According to some estimates, over 80% of widows change their spouse’s original financial advisor. In many cases, the advisor had a relationship with the deceased spouse and never fully involved the female half in the financial planning and investment process.
Your financial advisor can help you solve your immediate financial problems, such as: B. settling parts of an estate, but its main purpose is to help you plan your long-term financial future. For example, you may need to reallocate your investments.
While it may be tempting to leave your investment accounts allocated exactly as they were when your spouse was alive, this step may not be in your best interests. As a widow, you have different financial worries than as a couple. You may want to consider downsizing, moving closer to grandchildren, or even starting a new career. All of these changes require input from a financial advisor to see how your new life will work out best financially.
Make sure you first only interview financial advisors who are fiduciaries, who will always act in yours best interest and advise you independently and impartially. A certified financial planner who is knowledgeable, trustworthy and who understands your unique needs and goals can help you get your new financial life on track.
Estate Planning Attorney
It’s a good idea too Hire an accredited attorney in your area with a focus on inheritance and trust law. Finding the right lawyer may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Your financial planner likely has many trusted relationships with you Estate Planning Lawyersand they can put you in touch with a professional in your area.
Alternatively, you can reach out to friends and family for recommendations, or who are visiting National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (opens in new tab) website and the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (opens in new tab) Website to find a reputable estate planner in your state.
It’s also important to find your spouse’s original will and make an appointment to review it with your attorney. If you can’t find the original will, the estate planning attorney who wrote your documents may be able to help you.
Also, discuss each state with your attorney and federal inheritance tax they are due. Also ask about unforeseen one-time death expenses. Your attorney will also help you with probate filings, creditor notifications, and estate distributions to make the process as easy and straightforward as possible.
Therapist, grief counselor, or other mental health professional
In addition to managing your financial future, your emotional and mental health is of paramount importance. The loss of a spouse, along with the loss of a child, can be one of the most emotionally painful life events we face. You have not only lost your life partner, but also the future you planned together.
Bereavement counseling, also known as bereavement counseling, can help you process the death of your spouse. A good grief counselor will provide a safe space to talk about your feelings and help you develop tools and strategies to get through this difficult time and heal.
Loss and Grief Specialist Diane Brennan (opens in new tab) suggests: “Working with a counselor is beneficial for widows as they deal with grief and find ways to rebuild their lives after the loss. Both individual counseling sessions and support groups can be helpful in introducing tools for grief. Individual counseling provides personal attention and a private space to process any emotions and feelings related to loss, while support groups provide widows with a place to connect in a safe space with others who “get it”. For most widows, grief never entirely goes away, although with time (and counseling) it becomes less acute and no longer stands in the way of future happiness.”
Grief affects everyone differently and at different times. It’s important not to go through this alone! Your estate planning attorney and financial advisors can likely refer you to a professional experienced in bereavement counseling.
psychology todayOnline database of (opens in new tab) is also a good resource when looking for a psychiatrist to support you.