Preparing for the future is part of life. That includes preparing for the day when either you or your spouse passes away. By gathering some important information now, and keeping it all in one place, you can spend less time dealing with the administrative issues that go along with death, and enjoy more time with your loved ones and family during life.
Have the basics handy
When you’re dealing with the pain of losing someone, even the simplest information may slip your mind. Be sure to have your spouse or partner’s:
- Social Security information
- Date of birth
- Primary/secondary address
- Account information, including financial accounts, insurance policies, retail account information, and information regarding electronic accounts and passwords
Other documents that can be helpful include:
- Driver’s license
- Military I.D.
- Citizenship papers, green card or visa (if your partner is from another country)
Finally, make a note to get at least a dozen certified copies of the death certificate. Many government agencies and business will require them.
Ask about clubs and associations
Any groups that your loved one has joined, personally or professionally, should be informed in the event of their death. Keep a list of names and contact information so that you know who to get in touch with.
Contact the appropriate professionals
If your partner has a lawyer, or if you share one, he or she should be one of the first people you contact in case of death. An attorney should be able to provide access to your partner’s will or other estate documentation. You may also want to contact financial advisors and accountants.
If you and your partner live separately, you may also need to consider whether to turn off utilities or change the name on utility accounts. If he or she is a renter, you should notify the landlord.
Making every moment count
Even with the best preparation, dealing with these logistics is a challenge for anyone who has lost someone they love. But by gathering this information now, you can rest easier knowing that you’re prepared, and spend more time enjoying your loved one and family today.
This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. We recommend that you consult an independent legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your individual situation.
The tax information herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
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