|When someone dies from GBM, your world changes. You are in mourning, and may fell numb, shocked, and fearful. You may experience PTSD and/or feel guilty for being the one who is still alive. Try not to ignore your grief. Support may be available until you can manage your grief on your own. Learn about important things you can do to care for yourself
Discussing Finances Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, and grief can bring on a variety of emotions that you might not be prepared for. Before you have time to fully process those emotions, you’ll face a long list of decisions to make for your future. Many of the decisions you need to make are financial and require clear thinking in a time filled with stress, which is never an easy task. Some decisions can wait until you’ve had time to process your loss. But others are time sensitive.
You’ll need to locate some essential documents and have them on hand as you sort out your finances. If you haven’t been in the habit of storing your important documents in a safe and accessible location, start now. Gather all important documents in a central place or folders to keep all these documents handy as you move through the next few months. Documents to pull together include: ❏ Will and/or trust ❏ Life insurance policies ❏ Marriage certificate and birth certificate of your spouse ❏ Death certificate (make 10-20 copies, depending on # of assets/accounts) ❏ Tax returns for the last two years ❏ Car insurance and car loan information for your deceased spouse if you were on the loan ❏ Health insurance if you were on your deceased spouse’s plan ❏ Current bills (know how to access online bill pay tools/bank accounts) ❏ Investment account statements ❏ Bank statements ❏ Stock certificates ❏ Mortgage documents (statement as a minimum) ❏ Loan statements/documents ❏ Retirement plan statements ❏ Pension plan statements ❏ Leases/Deeds ❏ Homeowner’s insurance ❏ Motor vehicle titles ❏ Funeral arrangements or instructions ❏ Social security cards for both of you ❏ Divorce agreements ❏ Safe deposit box information (and key) ❏ Storage locker contract ❏ Business ownership or interest documents ❏ Military service records ❏ Computer records related to assets.
Organize bills to understand financial situation
Make sure you have a plan in place for all your bills. If you were not the one responsible for bills, research which were on automatic payment and which need to be paid manually. It can help to draw up a bills checklist or spreadsheet so that you can anticipate expenses and prevent bills from incurring late fees or penalties if missed. If you are not able to pay all the bills immediately, contact your creditors about the possibility of delaying payments due to the circumstances. If your spouse had any credit cards, loans or other bills solely in his or her name, provide those creditors with a death certificate. You may or may not be responsible for paying these debts, depending on the type of each debt and where you live. Have all the bills put in your name. Contact the sender to update the account with your name and contact info to enable continuation of services. Some vendors require closing the old account and creating a new account, but some may simply update the account with your name.
Additional Financial Tasks for Spouses.
While your spouse or family member is ill, contact current place of work so you can discuss time off, FMLA pay and or possible dismissal of work depending on the severity of illness. While spouse is ill be sure all health insurance companies are contacted and paid-to-date. This includes Medicare plans as well. Make sure all life insurance is paid-to-date this becomes useful in paying for final expenses and any medical bills. After spouse passes, be sure to contact health and life insurance companies, this way they will be able to get information out quicker for you to be able to get help and advice on what the next step is. Notify all billing companies. This includes, credit card companies, loan companies, and banks you are using to make sure your money and your spouse’s money is kept safe. Send a copy of the death certificate to any credit cards, household bills, and auto companies that may be in your spouse’s name to let them know of your spouse’s passing. These companies may be able to give you a break in your billing cycles and or refund paid money back to you depending on your financial situation. Notify your financial advisor to get help with life insurance companies as needed. They can contact these companies if your policies are through that broker/agent. To learn more, please check out our website at www.glioblastomasupport.org and visit the Widow/Widower Resources.
GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. Camp Widow is an innovative program which provides practical tool and research-informed resources for widowed people of any gender, race, religion, age, or sexual orientation.