The Financial Ramifications of Losing a Spouse or Partner

N0912P33009CBy Wendy Bailey

Losing a spouse or partner can be a difficult thing for a person to have to deal with. Unfortunately, when a spouse or partner passes away, you do not just have emotional ramifications but you also suffer financial ones as well. Here is some information on the financial ramifications most survivors will have to face when their spouse or partner dies.

Burial Expenses

The first financial ramification that a person has to face after their spouse or partner dies is the burial expenses that are incurred. Hence, burial insurance is important. When a person dies by law their body needs to be either buried or cremated.

The average funeral now costs more than five to eight thousand dollars so burial expenses can be hard to contend with. If a death is unexpected then a person may not have any money to spend on burial expenses because most life insurance companies do not issue beneficiaries their death benefits until weeks after the death has occurred.

Debts That Have Been Left Behind

Many people leave behind a lot of debts when they die. They incur debts from items such as:

  • auto loans
  • credit cards
  • personal loans
  • mortgages
  • student loans

If the spouse or partner was suffering from an illness before they died, then they may have left behind a massive pile of unpaid medical bills. These bills can be costly and they often leave the person left behind in dire financial straits.

It is important to contact your creditors after your spouse or has died so that they can cancel any cards in his or her name. A copy of a death certificate will often need to be accompanied when trying to declare a person dead with a creditor.

When a person dies, any debts that the deceased held separately or jointly with their spouse or partner needs to be repaid. If the person had a will, then the probate process will need to begin. In this instance, an administrator of the estate will need to be named and then the process of dividing up the assets and paying off the debts will need to begin.

Loss of One Income Can Be Overwhelming

Most households are classified as two income households. In these instances, both spouses have jobs and pay their bills every month with the wages that they earn. When a spouse or partner dies, this leaves the surviving person with only one income instead of two.

This can make paying the monthly bills on time very tough. Life insurance policy benefits can only take a person so far after their spouse or partner has passed away. Most people only have enough life insurance benefits to supplement the loved one’s income for about five years.

Lifestyle changes will need to be made in order to compensate for the loss of income. Many people will have to downsize their homes or apartments because they could find themselves unable to pay their rent or mortgages any longer.

In conclusion, the loss of a spouse or partner is something that takes people months or years to recover from. The loss of someone that you love is something that you cannot put a price tag on. These financial ramifications can seem hard to handle but if the surviving spouse or partner is organized and stays on budget then they can handle this financial transition very well.

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