The death of a loved one is obviously a difficult event to endure. It can become all-consuming and often at the expense of other day-to-day matters that need to be addressed. With the death of a loved one, new matters arise that need to be handled as well. There are so many phone calls that need to be made and letters that need to be sent. Unfortunately, sometimes we simply get tired of dealing with everything that needs to get handled and we just stop altogether. While I certainly understand the reasons why, it is really important that these matters get handled today and not put off until some date in the future that usually never comes until it becomes an even bigger problem.
An all too frequent scenario I see is when a spouse passes and leaves their assets to the surviving spouse. The surviving spouse then leaves those assets in joint names or their deceased spouses name. When an older spouse passes, it is common for the surviving spouse to be close in age to the spouse that passed. Often, after the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse’s health begins to decline as well. I’m not sure if it’s the grief, the new “routine” in their life, or simply a broken heart. Regardless, many times that spouse only survives a few years after their deceased spouse. When that happens, and the original spouse’s assets were not retitled, it can become an even more difficult process for the heirs.