Part I: planning for death of a spouse

| Sep 6, 2019 | Wills & Trusts

At the very top of lists of the most stressful life events is the death of a spouse. Though planning for it can be emotionally difficult, it is a step to be taken with an experienced Brevard County attorney that will help to spare the surviving spouse needless legal complications and expenses in a time of grief and loss.

We recently read a Forbes interview with a tax attorney who specializes in asset protection about what failing to plan ahead can mean. He said that the worst situations that he sees arise in cases which financial decisions and planning was by one spouse and did not include the other.

The spouse who passed on was the one who handled the finances, and because the couple never sat down to discuss or plan for the death of that spouse, the survivor is lost. The survivor can’t find the checkbook, and worse, his or her access to funds might be limited.

A better way to plan ahead, the estate planning lawyer said, is to have both spouses know which financial institutions hold the couple’s accounts, where the checkbook is kept and how to access emergency funds.

In addition, both spouses should know which estate planning documents they have and where they’re kept. If the couple has created a trust in their estate plan, both spouses should know how to provide a copy in order to show that they have trust authority and have access to its funds.

We will look at some other issues raised in the Forbes interview in our next post.

Please contact a Cocoa estate planning attorney for more detailed help in protecting your family and assets.