10 things you need to do when your spouse dies

By Sheryl Smolkin

When you’re newly widowed, you need to think clearly and make good decisions in the midst of your grief. This checklist can help you get through it.

Whether it’s a sudden loss or the result of a long illness, the death of your spouse is emotionally devastating and you will need time to grieve. However, many important decisions with financial implications must be made sooner, rather than later. For example, the funeral must be arranged, bills must be paid and the estate must be settled. It’s usual for you to be your spouse’s executor, unless you are too frail or otherwise physically incapable of these tasks.

This is a time when close family members or friends and trusted advisors can often do a lot of the leg-work. But ultimately you as the widow or widower must direct these people and make crucial final decisions.

Here are 10 practical things you need to do when your spouse dies:

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