As a wealth management firm, we have worked with many clients who are widowed. Oftentimes, when a spouse passes away and leaves the surviving spouse with a large family of investments and things to manage, it can be overwhelming. Especially if the surviving spouse did not manage their finances. Often, these clients don’t know what they spend, how much their mortgage is, what assets they have, how much debt they have, what is in their investment accounts, or what is in their pension and retirement accounts. They weren’t the ones handling the bills, so how should they know? They typically weren’t the ones doing the investments or meeting with the wealth managers either.
Not being totally financially aware should not be a source of embarrassment though, and it certainly shouldn’t stop you from getting things in order.
When you are grieving, friends and family may give you advice without knowing your entire financial situation. It's important to seek the help of a non-biased financial advisor. A professional advisor can objectively look at your finances and provide guidance. The best advisor for you should have an accepted professional designation, such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™. They should also be experienced in working with widows and put their clients’ interests first, offering holistic advice.
In the days after a loved one's death, it is important to save big decisions and tasks for when you can look at them clearly. When ready, we recommend breaking things down into manigible tasks. Some example can be found below:
This is for informational purposes only. Investment advisory services offered through Cornerstone Wealth Group, LLC dba Cornerstone Wealth, an SEC-registered investment adviser.