Preparing for Widowhood

Staggering statistics show that 70% of married women will experience widowhood and 80% of women will die single, according to Kathleen Rehl, author of Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows. Survey participants, in listing things they wish had been accomplished prior to the death of their husbands, shared the following comments: (1) I wish my husband had made me practice handling the Quicken account for a month. (2) I wish he had introduced me to his financial adviser while he was alive. (3) I wish we had talked about where the investments were and why they were invested that way. (4) I wish he had told me what his passwords were – they were all in his head. (5) I wish we’d kept at least one checking account in both our names. All the household bills were tied to his bank account and credit card. It took months to sort things out.

Additional guidelines from industry experts spell out steps to do both before and after a death. They include:

  1. Discuss your financials and end-of-life wishes with your spouse.
  2. Create a repository for passwords and other need-to-know information.
  3. Get to know your financial adviser if you have one.
  4. Make sure your accounts are titled properly.
  5. Consolidate accounts.
  6. Familiarize yourself with probate and how it works in your state.
  7. Check beneficiary designations and how things are titled.
  8. Give yourself structure and space after a death.
  9. Maintain one joint bank account after a spouse’s death for one to two years.
  10. Consider your Social Security choices as a widow.
  11. Understand your expenses as a single person.

Dealing with the loss of your spouse is a difficult process, but it can be even more challenging when you are not prepared. No one wants to think that they may become a widow, but these are important conversations you should have with your spouse sooner rather than later.

For details go to:…05b5a-96bc806735-165413169&mc_cid=96bc806735&mc_eid=d4b537f324




Share this

Posted in

Subscribe to our blog and monthly newsletter.

Subscribe to blog and newsletter

First Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Featured Resources