Financial To-Do List for Surviving Spouses

Take these seven steps to take charge of money matters when your husband or wife passes away.

(Image credit: CandyBox Images 2013)

Pay bills. Don’t wait until the estate is settled to pay the mortgage, utilities and other bills, except for obligations owed only by your spouse, such as student loans or charges to a credit card in your spouse’s name only. In those cases, you may not be held responsible for repaying the debt.

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Jane Bennett Clark
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The late Jane Bennett Clark, who passed away in March 2017, covered all facets of retirement and wrote a bimonthly column that took a fresh, sometimes provocative look at ways to approach life after a career. She also oversaw the annual Kiplinger rankings for best values in public and private colleges and universities and spearheaded the annual "Best Cities" feature. Clark graduated from Northwestern University.