March 10, 2021

Widowed and making financial decisions

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There are few things in life more challenging than being bereft of your spouse. In any given year in Ireland an average of 190,000 persons are widowed and women are the majority of those bereaved. But while coming to terms with this life-altering reality, you are also coping with major life decisions you may never dealt with. Being widowed and making financial decisions is one of these many concerns.

Decisions that widowed spouses face

When a spouse passes away, in some cases they will have held a number of pensions with various employers over their lifetime. Moreover, they often have more than one bank account. For instance, in a few cases a second home, investments, company shares, life assurance policies, and unfortunately debts that may have accrued, large or small.

Questions widowed spouses often ask

Many married couples have a life cover policy in place, but what is the best use of this sum? This and many more questions need to be addressed, but in what order, when and why? However, when a spouse becomes widowed it can be common to quickly seek to ‘tie up all loose ends’ and this can sometimes result in ill-timed decisions about a variety of assets. As a result, being widowed and making financial decisions is never straight forward. Consequently, the following are a selection of questions you may be asking yourself with good reason:

1. Firstly, should I encash those company shares and pay Capital gains tax on the profit or could this be dealt with another way?

2. Secondly, can I receive the company pension now? Moreover, should I if I can? Is there more than one pension? How would I find out?  

3. Thirdly, are the proceeds taxable or do I have the option to transfer the pension to my existing pension?

4. Likewise, do I really need three bank accounts and in what instances would that be advantageous?

5. Similarly, should I sell the second home? In what scenario’s should I keep it?

6. In addition, what are the debts outstanding and to whom? Am I liable to pay these?

7. After that, how should I allocate these various proceeds with due consideration for myself and my needs as I age and the needs of the children and even my parents?

How we can assist you

In conclusion, this is a short list of questions and is by no means exhaustive. It serves as a short guide to questions you may be pondering. Importantly, at Aspire Wealth Management we have had the privilege over the years of being able to assist bereaved spouses in navigating this myriad of diverging financial obligations by carefully planning alongside clients. Above all, your present and future needs are based on sound financial planning fundamentals.

If you would like to chat, we are here to listen.

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