1405 Irwin Way,
When your husband dies, you may be faced with a terrible shadow of grief, fear, and uncertainty. Right now you may be wondering, “Can I make it on my own without my husband?” You are not alone in your feelings, which some widows describe as “being in a fog.” If you feel adrift and insecure in many ways, including financially, you are quite normal.
Just when you feel least able to cope with life, when you are low on mental and physical energy, you have many decisions to make that can permanently affect you: your finances, your family, your livelihood, and so much more.
When you are ready, its important that you contact your attorney, financial, and tax advisor. We can assist you in all three areas, and can refer you to an estate attorney in Florida.
If you ask our office for help, we will get to know you and talk about your circumstances. • We will review your finances with you to be sure you have sufficient cash flow during this transition period. We will be sure you know where money will come from and where it needs to go in the coming months.• We will help you collect your husband’s social security and pension benefits and analyze the best method to collect those benefits from a tax advantaged viewpoint, including whether you should accept benefits in periodic payments or in a lump sum.• We will help with the rollover of your husband’s retirement and Individual Retirement Plans (IRAs) into your own and help you set up the IRS required annual Minimum Required Distributions (RMDs), if applicable.• We will help with the filing of life insurance claims, including the selection of the best payout method given your circumstances.• We will review your debts and help you decide how and when those debts should be paid.• We will work with your other professionals, such as your Estate Attorney, to ensure the most efficient estate settlement as possible.• We will prepare your annual income tax returns.• And most importantly, we will create an updated financial plan, focusing on short-term goals initially, especially during the first year or so, and then providing a long-term plan that provides the best possible opportunity for a life-time of financial security.
Given the complexities of the tax and other laws, you don’t want to make some decisions without asking a trusted professional to assist you. However, be careful about whom you select as your financial advisor. Some people view widows as “easy targets”. Be wary of advisors who just want to sell financial products, such as annuities, that result in large commissions to the advisor. Before agreeing to anything, always ask a financial advisor for a breakdown of his or her expected compensation on any proposed transaction and determine whether that compensation is reasonable.
You should not rush to make big financial decisions without the assistance of competent professional advice, especially those choices that have irrevocable consequences. Save major money decisions until a time when grief and mourning don’t feel so overwhelming.
Finally, always keep in mind that you are at a very vulnerable time following your husband’s death. Go slowly. Give yourself time to heal.