Preparing for the Loss of a Primary Caretaker
Your trusted Financial Planners and Educators
Although it may be a difficult subject to talk about or address here are some items to consider revolving around losing a primary caretaker:
- Assess your current financial situation: Take stock of your income, savings, and any existing insurance policies. Understand your monthly expenses and financial obligations. Our family referred to this collection of data as the “black binder” which was literally a black binder that held this sensitive financial data.
- Review life insurance policies: Bring awareness about the life insurance you may have. Your beneficiaries should have an understanding as to where the information on those policies are as well as how to contact those companies should you need to submit claim.
- Evaluate available benefits: Check if there are any survivor benefits or social security benefits available to you as a result of the caretaker's passing. Beneficiaries may be entitled to social programs upon the death of their guardian or primary care provider. Understand the eligibility and the application process.
- Calculate immediate financial needs: Identify the immediate expenses you'll face and calculate the amount required to cover them. Specifically funeral costs, outstanding debts, or any pending medical bills. There are financial vehicles you can leverage to assist with some of these expenses.
- Create a budget: Develop a new budget that aligns with your current financial situation. Review your income sources, expenses, and adjust your spending as necessary. This is key to understanding your new financial environment and something we help families with every day.
- Consider professional advice: Consult a financial advisor or planner, even as a temporary measure, can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances. They can help you create a long-term financial plan, manage investments, and identify strategies to build financial security.
- Update legal documents: This is KEY. Review your will, power of attorney, and any other legal documents to ensure they reflect your current situation. Update beneficiaries and make any necessary changes to protect your assets and secure your financial future. A good marker as to when to update these documents are after significant life events.