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What to do when your spouse passes away

Losing a spouse is one of the most challenging struggles that a person is ever going to face. It’s more than just taking care of final affairs, it’s making the adjustments to a new kind of life.

The process of tying up a spouse’s final affairs while simultaneously facing unexpected personal problems, can be stressful and overwhelming. There are going to be surprising questions that you didn’t expect, but with a little help, you can find answers you need, such as:

What will happen to my spouse's property?

Most people realize that the surviving spouse is entitled to property, but few understand that it isn’t automatic. You will need to act, and having an estate plan can make your life much easier. However, if you do not have a plan in place, you still options available to you.

What do I do with the remains?

This is the first question that comes to mind when your spouse has passed away, and there are many choices to make. As with many of the questions on this list, your priority should be finding what works best for you. It is your responsibility, you get to decide how to carry it out.

What about the chores?

When a widow or widower must do a chore they haven’t thought of in ages, they will undoubtedly struggle. It’s like learning to choose groceries all over again, and it’s a hard moment to learn to do a new skill. This is the time to decide how you want your day-to-day life to look going forward. Making some essential changes today can relieve a lot of difficulties tomorrow.

Am I missing anything?

When you are under the unique stress of losing someone you love, you cannot expect to do everything right. There are legal realities and procedural steps that you must follow, and getting the guidance you need, when you need it, should be your one of your top priorities. This may be your responsibility, but no one says you can’t have some help to shoulder it.

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