How to Financially Prepare for the Unexpected Death of Your Spouse

Preparing for death is something most of us put off. Even though it’s an unpleasant and awkward thing to discuss, it’s better to be prepared and have a plan set in place. Marriage takes teamwork. Each partner has different skill sets and plays different roles in the day-to-day function. If something were to happen to one in the relationship, how would the other do that job? What steps can we take in preparing for the death of a loved one? You will be glad that you sat down with your partner to deal with the issues today, because later during the grieving process they will be the last things you will want to handle.

Don't neglect that will.

Yes, you know you should have one. And yes, you plan on getting around to it. But don’t wait until it’s too late.

“I can’t express enough how important it is to have a will in place. If you have any kind of assets, you want your loved ones to know your wishes.” Brad Parker says. “Also, the cost of probating goes up exponentially if there is no will in place.”

Even though it’s awkward talking about death, it’s imperative husbands and wives be proactive just in case unexpected death occurs.

“It’s important that there is good communication between you and your spouse so they know what your wishes are. I’d suggest meeting with an estate planner or probate lawyer ahead of time in case the worst should occur,” Brad says.

Make sure your documents are in order.

Organize documents associated with any life insurance policies, property deeds, car titles, wills, bank accounts and investment details. Both partners should know where these are and ensure they're current.

Organize your shared and individual passwords.

Knowing passwords and where to access important information is critical if the unexpected occurs. If you can't access a bank account because your spouse had a special password you weren't privy to, you can see what sort of trouble could arise.

Brad says, “Spouses should make a list of passwords for all online accounts, including 401(k)s, investments, bank accounts, really everything. This list should be stored in a place that both spouses, and perhaps adult children, know about.”

While Parker Law Firm does not specialize in probate or estate planning, we are always happy to review any legal documents as well as refer you to someone who can help. Call us today at 817.440.3888.


At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.

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