When Confronting a Difficult Loss

Sylvia Salguero, Financial Adviser


If you have to deal with a difficult loss in your family, among your close friends, or if you are going through the personal tragedy of losing your spouse or life partner, keep reading.

Unfortunately, many of us women of the baby boomer generation need to prepare for such an event, if statistics are to be believed. The death of one’s spouse can begin an extremely painful transition time in one’s life. Even though it is almost impossible to be emotionally or financially prepared, it is easier to make decisions when the time comes, if the couple was able to discuss potential contingencies after the death of one partner.

Usually, few decisions must occur immediately following the death of a spouse, especially major decisions, such as moving or selling one’s house. Going through the grieving process is difficult enough, and family and friends need to be sensitive and recognize the complexity of this highly emotional time.

When one is ready to deal with the practicalities involved, financial and legal professionals, as well as tax advisors, may need to be consulted. Sometimes dealing with a broken heart may still hamper one’s ability to deal with a major decision, even after a period of time. Trusted family members or close friends could be helpful at such a time.

A financial checklist of things to do after the death of a spouse include:

Call your attorney and financial advisor.

Get enough certified copies of the death certificate, for all the companies you may need to contact.

Contact Social Security Administration. (You could be entitled to benefits.)

Contact your spouse’s current employer when applicable, as well as former employers. Find out if there are pensions, insurance policies or other benefits available to you.

Contact the Veteran’s Administration if your husband served in the military.

Change all property titles, update insurance policies.

Change title on joint bank accounts, investment accounts, etc.

Review your own estate plan, change beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and insurance policies.

At this vulnerable time in your life, you may become a target for unscrupulous salespeople. Beware of investments that sound too good to be true. It is best to continue to work with the trusted professionals you know or find experienced professionals that could assist you with your circumstances.

Sylvia Salguero

Financial Adviser

Sylvia Salguero joined Albitz/Miloe in 2001, guiding families, especially women and small businesses with the development of investment strategies, portfolio construction, as well as implementing solutions to help meet their goals and objectives. Sylvia has served on committees of various charitable and religious organizations.

More about Sylvia

For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with your legal or tax advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.