I don't know about you, but I can't imagine life without my very best friend. On top of that, when a spouse passes away, it leaves the surviving partner with both emotional and logistical tasks to manage. If you and your partner have not taken steps to prepare in advance, it can add to the stress of an already difficult time.
So, why not find ways to alleviate some of the strains that come when losing your spouse? That's why my husband and I have started looking at what we need to have in order before it's needed. Here are some important things I've learned that couples should know before a spouse is gone.
Having all of your legal paperwork in order is an important part of preparing for death in advance. This includes having up-to-date wills, power of attorney documents, health care directives, and any other relevant estate planning documents.
This will make sure that your wishes are followed when you pass away and that your spouse has access to the necessary information and resources they need in your absence, IF you include them in discussions.
Additionally, if you own property or have children, it’s important to make sure that those items are addressed in the proper legal documentation as well.
It’s also important to think about how finances will be handled if one spouse passes away. There is so much I was not aware of until I started to look into this information.
Make sure bank accounts are accessible by both parties
Organize all financial documents like insurance policies and investments into one place where they can easily be accessed by either person
Know if there is enough money saved up to cover any potential expenses associated with death (funeral costs, estate taxes, etc.)
Know where this designated money is located
Is there enough money for the remaining spouse to pay bills and expenses? Thinking about life insurance policies can be key; without proper coverage your loved ones could suffer financially after you pass away, so it’s best to have this or another option prepared ahead of time.
I quickly realized how overwhelming this pre-planning could be, so I designed pre-formatted documents that I used to record and organize our information and you can use them too.
You fill in the blanks with your information and add what is unique to your situation. If you'd like to check it out here's the website. https://bit.ly/PreparedandInformedFamilies
Caring for Your Mental Health
Above all else, it’s essential for couples to talk openly about death before it happens so that feelings can be discussed honestly and openly between both partners. It allows you both to express how each other feels while communicating what needs would arise if one of you were ever gone.
Having these conversations now gives couples the chance to prepare emotionally for the worst while still being able to enjoy life together in the present moment.
If you'd like information on legal documents you should have in place I have another blog reviewing them here https://bit.ly/7DocstoHaveinPlace
Being aware of these details helps direct family conversations.
Taking steps now can help ensure that as a couple we are prepared for whatever comes our way. We can take comfort knowing that no matter what happens down the road we've our relationship will remain strong until our last moment together.