The death of your spouse is an incredibly difficult time in your life. With the upheaval you’re experiencing, it can be hard to think about tasks like continuing to manage the finances, or making decisions about settling your spouse’s estate. However, ignoring these issues can often lead to unnecessary trouble and expense. Here are three mistakes to avoid after your spouse has passed away.
· Letting the bills pile up. The last thing you likely want to do at this time in your life is to worry about paying bills. But letting bills pile up can result in a mountain of late fees as well as a reduced credit score for you. If you’re not sure which bills you must pay and which should be handled as part of your spouse’s estate, you’ll likely want to consult with an estate planning attorney.
· Neglecting the IRS. You’ll need to make sure that taxes are filed for the year in which your spouse passed away. Not filing can have unpleasant consequences, including having interest and penalties added to any taxes that were due.
· Not Getting Help. You’ll want to enlist the help of a qualified estate planning attorney, and possibly other professionals, like a financial advisor. Your attorney can help to ensure that your spouse’s estate is settled efficiently and effectively, and can help you make sure your own estate plan is updated. A financial advisor can help ensure you’re on secure financial footing as you face your future.