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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

August 20, 2012
Financial Advice for the Recently Widowed

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During the incredibly difficult time of losing a spouse, it is easy for financial tasks to slip. Make sure you know which tasks can be handled now and which can wait.


Losing your spouse is one of life's most stressful events. Unfortunately, many important financial decisions that could impact the rest of your life must be made while you're still grieving. Certain actions should be taken right away, but others can wait awhile.

First, gather all legal and financial documents to get a better sense of where you stand. Be sure to pay your bills on time to avoid penalties–especially health insurance premiums and taxes. Contact companies where you and your spouse have joint accounts and convert them to your name only. If your spouse was a veteran or eligible for Social Security, you and your children may qualify for survivor benefits.

Bottom line: Don't let grief keep you from ensuring that your financial future is protected.

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