Navigating a clear course toward your financial security.

Consider a Post-Mortem Letter

During life, it is common for one spouse to be more attuned to the family’s financial affairs than the other spouse.  Even if the relationship is completely open, there are usually items of a financial nature that do not get communicated, or are forgotten about as time progresses.  For these reasons, a post-mortem letter to your less financially savvy spouse is a tremendous help during a very stressful period in that person’s life.  If you are not married, a letter to your executor is also very helpful.

This letter, which should be updated yearly, contains information that is very important in the time immediately following your death.  During the first few weeks after death, when a spouse is often overwhelmed with emotion, there are many important actions to be taken related to your financial dealings.  The areas to cover in your letter may include:

  • Funeral arrangements
  • Location of your will
  • Location and contents of safe deposit box and key
  • Instructions to cancel credit cards
  • Action to be taken regarding our investment accounts
  • How to make a claim on your life insurance policy
  • Instructions to cancel club memberships
  • A list of contact names and phone numbers: accountant, lawyer, financial planner, insurance agent
  • A list of outstanding debts to be taken care of.

In addition, include a reassuring paragraph on what income sources the spouse now has and what assets will be passed to the spouse.  A copy of the letter should also be given to your lawyer, accountant and financial planner.  Our office has a sample post-mortem letter for you to use as a template.

This letter is one of the nicest things you can do for your spouse, and will give both of you peace-of-mind knowing that your post-mortem affairs will be taken care of completely.

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