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The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and The Canada Life Assurance Company have become one company – The Canada Life Assurance Company. Discover the new Canada Life

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Freedom 55 Financial is a division of The Canada Life Assurance Company and the information you requested can be found here.

Financially preparing for the death of a spouse

Key takeaways

  • There are several ways you can prepare financially for a spouse’s death.
  • Women may experience unique challenges when it comes to their finances after losing a spouse.

Emotional and financial challenges

There’s no doubt that coping emotionally with the death of a partner can be difficult, what with managing your grief, planning a funeral and more.

There can be financial challenges too, especially if you’re a widow. A 2023 Canada Life survey found 74% of women didn’t have a financial plan in place for when their spouse died.

They also said the most challenging aspects about being a widow were:

  • Adjusting to loss of income: 49%
  • Navigating legal/financial paperwork such as executing an estate: 46%
  • Being prepared for a financial emergency: 43%

Tips to financially prepare for losing a spouse

Become more involved in day-to-day money management

Get to know as much as you can about your finances before that difficult day arrives, including where your money is invested and what accounts it’s invested in.

Review your spending

You may need to adjust your current budget and your financial plan after your spouse dies. Look at whether you have an emergency fund and how stretched you’d be with paying your bills if you lost your partner’s income. Create a new “single income” budget to predict what expenses you might need to trim to be able to live within your means.

Work with an advisor

You can also work with an advisor who can provide advice and help you make financial decisions.

A Canada Life survey found:

  • Those who worked with an advisor were more likely to have things like life insurance, a will and a financial plan.
  • 67% of widows with an advisor had wills/trusts in place, versus 30% who didn’t.
  • 64% of those with an advisor had life insurance, versus 40% who didn’t.
  • 45% who had an advisor also had a financial plan in place, versus only 6% who didn’t.
  • Many respondents indicated having an advisor helped reduce stress and increase confidence in managing finances.

Review your estate plans

Make sure you both have wills and powers of attorney. Understand the complete financial picture for both partners, including investments, debt, insurance and workplace benefits, and whether you can keep any workplace coverage if your spouse died.

Review your need for insurance

If don’t have life insurance, disability insurance or critical illness insurance, work with an advisor to determine what insurance you should have. If you’ll lose use your partner’s health and dental benefits, check your need for individual health and dental insurance

What's next?

Now that you know how to prepare financially for the death of a spouse, why not meet with an advisor, or if your workplace benefits are with Canada Life, contact a heath and wealth consultant to:

  • Discuss your need for insurance.
  • Create a single income budget.
  • Review your estate plans.

This information is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only. For specific situations you should consult the appropriate legal, accounting or tax advisor.

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