Insurance Checkup: After the Death of a Loved One

Loss of a loved oneCoping with the loss of a loved is difficult enough without having to worry about finances. Before making any significant decisions, allow yourself time to grieve and take action only when it is right for you and your family.

First things first

As soon as you are able, reach out to insurance and other financial companies that your loved one conducted business with. Be prepared to provide a death certificate and other information if you are entitled to death benefits or wish to retitle the accounts. If the deceased was a beneficiary on your policies or accounts, be sure to update your beneficiary designations.

What to do if you were beneficiary

Proceed cautiously if you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or investment account. There is no need to rush important decisions. One of the best ways to honor your loved one is to use any windfall in accordance with how he or she would have liked you to spend the money.

If they did not discuss with you or share their wishes in writing previously, try to prioritize your financial needs in line with their values. For instance, would he or she have more likely wanted you to pay down debt, set money aside for your retirement, or perhaps set up an education fund?

Assess how the loss impacts your insurance needs

If you are now the sole provider for your family as a result of losing your loved one, consider whether you have enough insurance to protect those who may now depend on you. Many experts recommend holding life insurance equivalent to 6 to 10 times your annual income. Online insurance calculators can help you determine your needs with greater accuracy.

It is not easy losing someone you love. When the time is right, do what is right for you and your family by taking the steps necessary to manage your finances and protect your family’s future.

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