The sorrow attached to the loss of a loved one can seem insurmountable by itself – and that’s without factoring in
the financial burdens often associated with losing a spouse. Luckily, in the event that a senior you care for is
struggling with the loss of a spouse, there's quite a bit you can do to lighten their emotional load. Taking on some of
the financial hardships and adjustments can help them through this difficult time. If you’re not sure where to begin,
Alliance Financial & Income Tax has some tips and resources to help.
There is nothing easy about the mourning process, and it's likely your dear friend or family member's spouse was
close to you as well. It's just as essential to process your own grief while helping them through theirs. Give them
the space they need. While offering help is certainly allowed and encouraged, do not force your assistance onto
them. Your aim is to help them through this process, not handle it all for them.
Helping Them Decide
It's not unlikely that the bereaved won't know where to begin when it comes to absorbing and settling their spouse's
finances. Consider their needs; will they be relocating to a smaller home? If so, they may wish to hold a sort of estate
sale. This will not only help their belongings fit better in the new place but will provide them with a bit of extra
capital if the loss affected their income.
The ins and outs of buying and selling homes may be too much to bear while also dealing with a spouse's loss, so do
what you can to help them in this process and look out for their best interests. If you decide to relocate temporarily
so that you can be of further assistance, you can always find an apartment in the area. Luckily, there are plenty
available, including over 50 in Blue Springs alone.
Remember, many senior citizens live on a fixed income, and going it alone is even more difficult. Studies show that
over 15 million senior citizens in the U.S. live below the poverty line. Add in funeral fees, costs for end-of-life care
and all the other charges and paperwork associated with death, and the expense can feel insurmountable.
Unfortunately, extensive life changes may be necessary to make ends meet. Be there for your loved one anyway
you can in this time, provided they welcome and appreciate the help.
If your loved one and their spouse owned a business together, perhaps this life change means it's time to retire. If
they intend to sell their business, be sure to point them in the direction of someone capable of providing a
professional business valuation. This should be a comprehensive appraisal of all assets on the business; property, as
well as the property itself. A bereft senior citizen may be considered an easy target to take advantage of, so make
sure they're getting every cent their venture is worth.
Being Their Advocate
The most important thing you can do for a grieving loved one is to stand by them through the process and protect
them from the most difficult aspects. As daunting as it may seem to manage another person's financial matters as
well as your own, keep in mind they are going through one of the hardest experiences anyone can. Be patient with
the process, and make sure everyone else involved is giving your loved one the respect they deserve.
Loss can be incredibly difficult, and it's easy to feel helpless when it happens. However, by taking one day at a time
and helping the ones you love with their finances, you can show them that you care.
Alliance Financial & Income Tax provides Income Tax and Financial services to individuals, families, and small
businesses in the metropolitan area. Call 816-323-6561.