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An unexpected death could lead to financial uncertainty

The sudden death of a loved one can send anyone's life into a spiral. You may still be trying to get your life back on track after your spouse was killed in a tragic car accident recently, and some days, it may feel as if you will never be able to make it on your own. While these feelings can seem overwhelming, you know that you have important matters to address.

While handling the funeral and working through your grief has certainly taken up much of your time lately, you also know that you need to focus on your household matters, such as paying the mortgage and utilities, determining how you will live without your spouse's income, handling his or her last medical bills, and much more.

Handling finances

Though you undoubtedly wish you could simply sit with your grief and have no other worries, you know that you need to keep moving forward. Focusing on your financial affairs may help you prevent serious money problems in the future, and some tips for getting those matters in order include the following:

  • Avoid making drastic decisions based on your emotions at this time. For example, do not automatically put your home on the market because you do not think you can afford it on your own.
  • Contact your spouse's employer to determine whether you could receive any benefits that he or she had as an employee, and gain information on retirement funds or life insurance to which you may have the right.
  • If your loved one created an estate plan, find those documents and go over the information.
  • In addition to estate planning documents, obtain financial documents, like personal insurance policy information, tax returns, bank account information and more. If you did not have a major hand in handling the household finances, this information will be vital to you.

Though it may seem impossible at the time to move forward, and you feel alone without your spouse, remember that you can seek support during this time. Family members, friends, therapists and financial advisors could help.

Was the accident someone else's fault?

If the fatal car accident that claimed the life of your loved one was caused by a negligent or reckless driver, you may have reason to take legal action against that person. Filing a wrongful death claim could allow you to seek compensation for your loss and other damages permitted under Illinois law. A successful claim could award you with the monetary recompense you need to keep your household financial affairs in order after such a sudden loss.

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