D. Smith: Dealing with loss of a life partner
Coping with this loss of a life partner is one of life’s biggest and often unplanned for challenges.
When we lose a life partner or close family member, there is a feeling of overwhelming loss.
Don’t feel you have to face this loss on your own. During this time, choose a friend or family member to talk to and share your thoughts. You may choose to talk to a grief counsellor or therapist, who has the training and experience to help you navigate through your grief.
Some decisions will have to be made quickly and other decisions can be made over the following weeks, months or years.
As you move past the initial loss of a loved one, you will need to identify the important next steps to take.
Life continues for the living and decisions need to be made.
Review your will and ensure it is up to date. If you do not have a will, make sure you receive professional advice and get a new will in place. If you have minor children, ensure a guardian is named in your will.
This is a time to review the beneficiary details on your investments and life insurance. If you have life insurance
or group investments through your employer, contact your workplace administrator to complete the forms on the updated beneficiary information.
Review your individual existing coverage’s to ensure you have sufficient insurance in force. You may now have the responsibility of being the sole provider for children or additional family responsibility.
A review of your insurance helps ensure your insurance protection aligns with your family needs and your financial objectives. After the loss of a key family member, your financial situation may have changed with your need to increase your key insurance coverage.
With the passing of a spouse, your financial goals, needs and risk tolerance may change and cash flow may need immediate adjusting. Identify current income vs debt. Review all debt including credit card debt and pay off the highest interest debt in order of preference. Review your cash flow and consolidate debt if necessary.
Losing a loved one changes your entire life, especially when your loved one was also your best friend. A number of unexpected life events can impact progress towards life goals and financial objectives.
In bereavement, we spend different lengths of time working through our grief and expressing the stages at different times and at different intensities.
After life changing events, it is important to review and identify any concerns you have.