Your attorney should be the first professional you contact, because he has a copy of the will or trust document. The financial planner or accountant can help you with the taxes and other financial help that you need. In addition, the insurance company should be contacted to begin receiving insurance proceeds.
Check with your county Probate Court for requirements.
Ask a friend or professional advisor for the names of estate attorneys. Take someone with you to interview the attorney and ask for references.
Ask friends or your estate attorney for names of financial planner. Make sure that the financial planner works on a fee only basis. Beware of financial planners who sell financial products, such as insurance or annuities.
You need a copy of the will or trust documents, husband’s birth certificate, your marriage license, husband’s death certificate, husband’s social security number, and life insurance policy.
No, it is a good idea the keep his name on the account during the first year, so you can deposit any checks you receive in his name.
No, keep the credit cards in both of your names for some time.
Yes. Check with your pastor or women’s ministry director at your church. Many churches have groups for widows to share their experiences. Also, look for GriefShare in your area. Look online at griefshare.org for groups near you. Family and Marriage Therapists can also be helpful in dealing with loss.
Additional resources are often listed by hospitals, hospice groups, funeral homes, and senior centers.