It Makes Sense to be Prepared


In a more perfect world, a grieving person would have ample time and resources to devote to personal and family healing after divorce or the death of a spouse, and there would be no pressing financial concerns. Unfortunately, that’s not usually what happens, and some things will demand immediate attention. So it is best to plan ahead.

In today’s fast-paced world, however, it is all too easy to skimp on preparing for difficult life passages — especially since they are so hard to imagine, let alone face. While no amount of planning could ever make losing your life partner easy, it is possible to minimize some of the negative impact of the experience by taking steps to be prepared for such a possibility.

Being on top of paperwork is an important aspect of preparation. Keep a list of the documents you’ll need should you become suddenly single, and know where these items are kept, or if they do not yet exist, where you can obtain them when necessary:


•Copies of joint tax returns for the past five years

•Copies of you and your spouse’s retirement accounts, i.e. 401k, 403b and TSA

•All insurance policies, including home, life, health, long-term care, disability, etc.

•Current statements for all brokerage accounts, including IRAs and Roth IRAs

•Current statements of mutual fund holdings

•The deed to your home

•Most recent mortgage statement

•Any trust documents

•Business partnership agreements

•Birth certificates

•Death certificates, five certified copies

•Marriage certificate

•List of credit cards

•Title to car or any lease agreements

•Employer stock options


•Living wills

•Military discharge papers

•List of assets


Meeting with your financial advisor and asking some “What if?” questions, is also a good idea. Together you can explore situations that have a possibility of occurring — while everything is hypothetical and less emotional — and identify steps you can take to be prepared, just in case one of those life-altering events did occur.

If you are a Ledwith Financial Wealth Management client, using our Financial Management System we can store digital copies of all of your important papers in one private, secure online location where they are immediately accessible to you, 24/7, from wherever you can be online


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