It’s tough enough to lose someone you loved, by separation, divorce or death. But it is devastating if they took care of the bills. Trying to think like them , trying to figure out their filing patterns, what bills are current, who needs to be notified, who needs to be paid and who does not, where is all the money, all the while grieving for them being gone.
Surround yourself with loved ones, enlist in the help of someone you trust with your money to help you learn. Seek council if needed.
Here are a few things to consider.
- Get plenty of certified copies of death certificate. You will need these for mortgages, car notes, credit cards and etc.
- If there is unsecured debt only in deceased names, you don’t owe it. Just because you lived with someone -doesn’t mean you take on their debt. This should never be paid by the insurance money that is money for the loved one. Bill collectors try to collect, they can only take the estate to court, this usually isn’t very fruitful for them. Credit card companies will close accounts. You don’t owe the money if you are an ‘authorized user only’. Just because it has your name on the credit card doesn’t mean you owe it.
- Don’t make any big decisions right now. Hold until you had time to grieve. Deposit the insurance money in a saving account until you are up to deciding what gets paid off and what needs to be invested.
- Locate the bills, try to figure out their process of paying bills. Keep things current like car insurance, utilities and mortgage until your ready to dig deeper.
- Start a morning and night routine. This is important for you sanity. Routines help us rejuvenate and keep us moving when our minds say, I just want to stay in bed and cry. Exercise in the morning. Getting blood to your brain gets your mind activated so you can make better decisions.
You will have good days and bad days but I promise you will are strong enough to get through the pain. You will grow stronger. Trust yourself, trust in God.
I just want to urge all married folks to share the details, make a list and place it where the spouse will see it. Once a year, sit down and go over everything.