You cannot always prepare for the death of a loved one, but older people often know ahead of time that an ill or elderly spouse is going to pass away. It is not an easy thing to go through and it does not get any easier after the spouse passes away.
However, as MarketWatch points out in "How to prepare for the death of your spouse," when you know ahead of time and can make some preparations, you should.
Some of the things that you can do to make things easier include:
- Gather up all important legal and financial documents. This includes everything from Social Security information, marriage licenses, retirement account information and anything similar. If your spouse has an estate plan, then also locate it. The important thing is to make sure that you know where everything is and can access it quickly when needed.
- If possible and if you have not previously done so, talk to your spouse about his or her wishes and instructions for what should be done after death. Knowing what your spouse's burial wishes are, for example, means that you do not have to come up with a plan for them on your own.
- If your spouse has an estate attorney, talk to the attorney. Let the attorney know the situation, so that he or she can prepare and assist you in making the appropriate legal preparations.
Reference: MarketWatch (Dec. 8, 2016) "How to prepare for the death of your spouse."