Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult periods of one's life. There are complex emotional and practical issues to deal with. If you, or someone close to you, is struggling with the loss of a loved one, consider taking the steps listed below. You may also want to look at the resources listed in the Suggested Readings section at the bottom of the page.
- Talk about your spouse, partner or loved one.
- Meet with your financial planner or other professional advisors to just talk and ask questions.
- Expect your concentration will be less than optimal.
- Take tiny steps and complete one thing at a time.
- Start with the basics; apply for CPP/QPP death and survivor benefits and life insurance proceeds.
- Get help at your home going through the files.
- Get help from your loved one's company's human resources representatives.
- Locate all the financial accounts and documents.
- Update your net worth statement and assess where to best deploy life insurance proceeds.
- Transfer registered accounts over to the beneficiaries.
- Wait six months to one year before making any big decisions like selling a house, car or cabin.
- Control out of character spending during the first six months to one year until your lifestyle has stabilized and a new normal is in place.
- Defer large expenditures and avoid giving money to adult children or other relatives until income, expenses and assets have been assessed and the financial plan completed.
- Be open to have someone you trust act as a sounding board when facing decisions.
- Be sensitive to opinions and requests from family members; explore options with an unbiased third party.
- With a Stroke of a Pen: Claim Your Life by Jane Blaufus
- Managing Alone by Jennifer Black and Janet Baccarani