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What to do? Where to go? Whom to trust? Will I be okay?

Losing a life partner is emotionally devastating. Once the close friends and family have left your side it’s going to be up to you to make a number of decisions that are going to affect your finances. People are often reluctant to discuss their financial affairs with each other as they find this stressful and sometimes embarrassing. Here are a few tips on how best to navigate the way through the process of preparing to deal with the financial result of losing a partner:-

  • Make sure that you and your partner have current wills comprehensively dealing with your estates and make sure you know the details of all the family’s bank and other accounts. Find out where important documents like your partner’s will the registration papers of vehicles, leases and the like are kept.
  • Engage frankly with your partner about your finances and make sure that you both know the details of each others estates, your respective assets and liabilities and so forth. Make sure you do not get a nasty surprise when your partner dies and you find out about large debts that he or she never revealed.
  • With your partner, prepare a realistic monthly budget and learn to adhere to it. Make sure that there is money left at the end of each month.
  • Visualise your financial situation after your partner’s death and do what you can to ensure that you can maintain your standard of living once he or she is gone.
  • Consider how you will manage to pay larger expenses like children’s education and so forth, and provide for unforeseen expenses.
  • Unless you are financially savvy, get assistance from a financial advisor that you are comfortable with and can trust.
  • Do what you can to ensure that, immediately after your partner’s death, you are not left without sufficient cash to cater for you daily and monthly needs for a few months. Remember that  your partner’s executor is not obliged to pay any amount to you before the Master has approved of the estate account and it has lain for inspection and that this might take very many months.  

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