Some things in life require planning, no matter how unpleasant the thought. Preparing for the death of your still-healthy spouse is one of them.
Simply buying a life insurance policy isn't enough. You need to make sure that both you and your spouse are prepared for the legal, economic and psychological consequences if one or the other passes away. Here's how to make sure the surviving spouse will remain financially secure after one spouse dies.
Consolidate accounts. Many older couples have accounts at multiple financial intuitions. "Everything is very spread out," says Tatyana Bunich, president and founder of Financial 1 Wealth Management Group in Columbia, Maryland. "The very first thing we do in our process is to consolidate accounts." Fewer accounts makes it easier to track and manage your finances. "When [a death] does happen, the more accounts, the harder it is emotionally," Bunich says. "The paperwork involved to put in death claims for every institution is overwhelming."
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