Losing a spouse is never an exciting event. Whether it is coming through a divorce, or a result of death, the trauma that follows it is better imagined than experienced. However, in the event that such happens, decisions will have to be made; especially in the area of assets and liabilities. While it does not often get planned by the partners, some partners are objective enough to preplan on such possibilities. By so doing, they have simply made it easier for themselves. This situation is often formalized as a prenuptial agreement entered into with the foreknowledge of a legal counsel. Prenuptial agreements are a great way of planning against unfavourable possibilities in marriages and are on the rise in America. While being perceived as a divorce contract, it offers a definitive stance in the event of a disagreement.
In the case of divorces, it is important to take some steps as soon as it is evident that divorce is an eventuality. It is important to close any joint accounts. This sounds awkward, but in reality, is the logical thing to do.
If neither partner is contesting the divorce, emotions may run high leading to one partner covertly racking up huge bills on the joint credit card. If such happens, too bad, the other partner finds self in a disadvantaged situation as the responsibility of the debt is jointly shared between the two partners.
Also, it is important to request for your credit report to have a clear picture of your credit position. People are known to do very hurtful things to their spouses during divorce proceedings. By requesting a report, you get the complete information that you need to make informed decisions relating to the division of assets and liabilities.
In the event of the death of a spouse, it is important to take decisions on certain expenses whose deliverable are enjoyed by the whole family. Subscriptions and premiums should be cancelled by contacting the service providers to notify them of the demise of the partner. This may require tendering a death certificate.
Also, there may need to open the legacy box that contains all the paperwork, information and financial instruments of the deceased. This includes savings check book, 401(k) as well as individual retirement accounts, the will and Social Security card of the deceased. While many spouses do not feel the need to create a legacy box, it is a safety measure that relieves a whole lot of stress off the other surviving spouse.
Lastly, if it is possible, ensure that you do not let the bills slip up to the next month simply because you are grieving the departed partner. The penalties that accompany late payment may add to the grief. While some companies may show compassion, some would simply not bother. So it is important to at least delegate someone keeps track of the bills is you feel too overwhelmed by the loss.