The other day I had a conversation with a longtime friend whom I had worked with and for when we were both employed by IBM some 20-30 years ago!
She shared devastating news that she had recently lost her mother and brother which hit hard as she was still mourning the death of her husband who passed 10 years ago. Despite the fact that it was 10 years ago, it still doesn’t matter as you will always mourn the death of a loved one whether it’s 10 years ago or 10 weeks ago.
In this Friday’s LifeStyle post, I am sharing 3 Ways You Can Help Your Senior Loved One After the Loss of a Spouse, and if it can be of assistance to you or a loved one, please feel free to share it and leave a comment below.
When your loved one loses their spouse, dealing with the financial decisions that need to be made in the aftermath may prove to be too much while he or she is grieving. If you want to provide comfort and assistance, you can help them manage this necessary step and gently lead them to the next stage of their life. And here are three things you can do to lighten their load while they’re in mourning, courtesy of my guest writer, Teresa Greenhill.
Filing for Life Insurance Benefits
When your loved one loses a spouse, it’s important to file a life insurance claim as early as possible. So be proactive by obtaining a certified copy of the death certificate and contacting the departed’s insurance agent to get the process started. Don’t forget to check if your loved one is eligible for government benefits as well, especially if their spouse was in the military, and contact the deceased’s former employer to see if they had an additional policy or some form of coverage through work. And discuss payment options with your loved one, as they may need money right away to cover funeral expenses or for daily expenses if the deceased was the main breadwinner of the family.
Selling Your Senior Loved One’s Home
After the loss of a spouse, your loved one may need to downsize, either because the property is now too big for them or to free up money for bills and medical care. In most cases, selling a home has a deep emotional impact on the people who have spent many happy years and built memories in it. So make sure you take your loved one’s feelings into consideration before planting a “for sale” sign in the front yard. Take time to discuss new living options, visit places your loved one is thinking of moving into, and talk about opportunities to make friends and discover a new neighborhood with attractive amenities.
And of course, selling a home also requires quite a bit of preparation in terms of documents. You should also do some research and compare house prices in the area so that you can valuate your loved one’s property correctly and get the most for one of their biggest assets.
Selling Your Senior Loved One’s Business
There will come a time when your senior loved one won’t want to, or won’t be physically able to, run their small business any longer. So talk to them about selling their company to keep their lifework and legacy going. Help them see the big picture by comparing the projected valuation (or future earnings) of the business to the offers they receive from potential buyers. And don’t wait until the business is suffering financially to put it up for sale: a company that is doing good is sure to garner higher offers.
If partners are involved in the business, ask them if they may be interested in buying your loved one out and continuing with the business on their own, and make sure you consult the LLC’s operating agreement when planning a partial transfer: if your aging loved one’s business is structured as a limited liability company, the easiest way to transfer ownership may be to dissolve the business and let the buyer form a brand-new LLC.
When your loved one is grieving, you can provide invaluable help by dealing with the financial repercussions of the loss of their spouse. Be the contact person with insurance agents. Research home values if your loved one is planning to move out and sell their property. And if they own a company, help them retire comfortably by selling their business at the best price.