Managing your finances after losing your spouse
It’s something most couples don’t like to think about, but unfortunately, one of you will likely die before the other.
That’s why it’s important to have a plan about how to manage your finances if your spouse dies before you do. While you’re grieving, there are some things you’ll need to right away, and others you can take some time to manage.
Immediate financial considerations
- Gather the information for all your financial accounts including bank accounts, credit cards and investments
- Locate your spouse’s will
- If your spouse had life insurance, either a personal policy or as part of employer benefits, contact the insurance company to make a claim
- Apply for Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan survivor benefits or Guaranteed Income Supplement Widowed Spouse’s Allowance
Longer-term financial considerations
As you’ll be losing 1 income, with the help of an advisor, it’s important to re-evaluate your financial situation, your budget, your retirement goals and retirement plan.
It’s not uncommon for women to feel the financial pinch of 1 income more than men. Often, their income and their pension will be smaller than men.
Take charge of your finances
- Review your estate plan
- Revise beneficiaries for investments and insurance policies
- Update your will and power of attorney
- Change the ownership title for bank accounts, investments and your car and home
- To prevent fraud, cancel your spouse’s government ID cards and credit card
- Cancel any services or subscriptions your spouse used that you no longer need, including social media and apps