Five Financial Changes That Happen When Your Spouse Dies

Some of these could catch surviving spouses by surprise, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect in case something happens.

A man sits on a swing facing the sunset at the beach with an empty swing beside him.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As if losing your spouse isn’t bad enough, the transition often comes with a dizzying amount of financial change. It is often a second shock, and working with retirees, I have had to help many of them navigate the challenges. Below are the most challenging changes that I see catch surviving spouses off guard.

Change #1: Your role and responsibilities.

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Evan T. Beach, CFP®, AWMA®
President, Exit 59 Advisory

After graduating from the University of Delaware and Georgetown University, I pursued a career in financial planning. At age 26, I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.  I also hold the IRS Enrolled Agent license, which allows for a unique approach to planning that can be beneficial to retirees and those selling their businesses, who are eager to minimize lifetime taxes and maximize income.