10 Things You Need to Do When Your Spouse Dies

September 26, 2023    propertysettlementlawyersperthwa
10 Things You Need to Do When Your Spouse Dies

Losing your wife/husband can be devastating for you. You will also need all the time to be miserable. But through all that grief, you have to make all the crucial decisions when the owner of the joint property dies to avoid unwanted issues in the future.

There are urgent matters that you have to attend to immediately, such as paying the bills and arranging for the future. But there are several other matters that can take more time to settle as well.

You can also act as the executor of the will, and there are no issues if you don’t want to play the role of the executor. The entire task can be pretty challenging, and getting a professional to do the job will be worth it.

Things You Must Do When Your Spouse Passes Away

After your spouse passes away, there are countless things you have to take care of. In this section, you will learn about the various things that you must get done after your wife/husband passes away.

1. Stop All the Tax Correspondence

It’s quite understandable that tax is not the main thing for you right now. You call the ATO [Australian Tax Office] and let them know that your spouse has passed away. The ATO stopped sending all the tax mail to the deceased individual instantly.

It’s normally the heir or the executor who calls the ATO to let them know about the deceased person, but as the spouse of the deceased, you can do the same. You can also speak with the boundary dispute lawyers Perth on such matters.

2. Make Arrangements for the Funeral

If you already have a cemetery plot or made some pre-arrangements, you can proceed further with the funeral arrangements. Otherwise, you can look for a good funeral home. If you don’t know what to opt for, you can speak with your other family members.

The services and prices can differ greatly from one funeral home to another. So, make sure to do proper research before proceeding further.

3. Contact the Recent and Past Employers of Your Spouse

If your spouse was employed when they passed away, you will be qualified for the accident insurance advantages. But this will depend entirely on the cause of death. Besides that, you might come across insurance that is related to retirement.

Furthermore, your spouse might have the company pension and many other savings plans. These things can be paid in the form of monthly charges or as a lump sum. You must contact past employers to gain more information about the pension funds.

4. File for the Life Insurance Claims

The property division lawyer has said that it’s important to file for life insurance claims when your spouse has a life insurance policy. If you’re the heir, you must contact the insurance company for the claim.

To file for the insurance claim, you will need the death certificate of your spouse and various other documents, which are required to validate the claim. The amount of funds you will receive when your spouse passes away is known as the “death benefit”.

Make sure to prepare all the documents in advance before visiting the insurance company to acquire the claim.

5. Cancel all Subscriptions and Shut Down Accounts

You should cancel all the government-related IDs and accounts of your spouse to prevent all the frauds from taking place. You can begin by canceling all the IDs that are in your possession, such as

  • The passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Membership at a golf or any other club
  • Email subscriptions

After that, you can deactivate your spouse’s social media accounts and credit card accounts and also take off your spouse’s name from all the joint accounts and cards.

6. You Should Look After Yourself

It’s important for people to take proper care of themselves during such difficult times. If you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed, you should speak with your family or close friends.

Otherwise, you can contact the following counseling services:

  • Thirrili
  • Griefline
  • MensLine Australia
  • Beyond Blue
  • Lifeline Australia

7. Update the Power of Attorney 

After your spouse’s passing, you should review all the power of attorney properly. The current POA might have named your spouse as the beneficiary. You should speak with the property settlement lawyers in Perth and create new documents so that you can sign them.

8. Work on the Details of the Estate

When your spouse dies, you should ascertain the liabilities and assets of the estate. Apart from that, you should also decide whether or not a letter of administration or probate is required.

Also, don’t forget to examine the Will and let all the beneficiaries know about your spouse’s death. When there is no Will in place, a member of the family or the executor must examine the personal papers of the deceased to find out what they owned.

9. Apply for the Letters of Administration or the Probate

This should only apply to the letters of administration or probate when it’s required. In the majority of cases, the personal representative will have no control over the assets if they don’t provide the letters of administration or grant of probate.

If you’re not sure whether you need the letter or administration or probate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the property settlement lawyers for help.

10. Opt for the Government Monetary Assistance on Death

When your spouse passes away, you will become eligible to obtain government financial assistance, which are:
The bereavement payments are non-taxable payments you can get through the Department of Veteran Affairs or Centrelink.

Rental grants are ideal for individuals who are dealing with the housing crisis. You can use the rental grants to move into a rental accommodation, which is completely private.

Mortgage relief loans are loans that are completely interest-free. You will get a maximum of $20,000 loan, and you can make it back in 10 years.

The bond loan can help you pay up the rental bond when you’re shifting into an accommodation.

Conclusion

It can be very difficult to conduct all kinds of activities when your spouse passes away. You might feel overwhelmed and cannot come out from the grief. But during that difficult time, you also have to take care of important matters.
Some of these are shutting down your deceased spouse’s account, making changes in the power of attorney, updating the Will, and so on. Make sure to consult with the property settlement lawyers so that you can take care of all the tasks without facing any issues.

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