Saturday, June 25, 2016

Abide in prayer when a spouse dies - Anne Baxter Campbell

When a spouse dies (or anyone else you are next of kin to) you’re reeling from the loss, and then all the legal things hit.
For the purpose of this blog, I’m assuming it was your spouse who went before you into the arms of the Lord, but the same things apply for any loved-one loss.
It would be nice if there were grief legality professionals―it looks to me like this would be a great profession. But please, if you are thinking this would be a fine way to get rich, think again. Quite possibly, the widow or widower will be suddenly dropping from two incomes to one.
The first piece of advice I would give is get at least ten copies of the death certificate. It’s possible you will need more. If you live in a small town where everybody knows everybody you might not need a lot; but if you are in a city you might need twice that many. So far, I’ve actually only needed two: One for the bank, and one for the mortgage.
I know it hurts to remove your spouse’s name from things, but some are necessary.
I had to remove my husband’s name from our bank account and get new checks. If you do also, be sure to let the bank know that checks could still be coming in with the spouse’s name on them. Some banks are such that you won’t be able to cash checks made out to your husband or put them in your account.
If you had a handicap placard for him/her, you only have a limited time to turn them in and not be fined. That varies by state, and I think it will probably say how long on the placard―if not, call your driver’s license bureau and ask.
Go see your lawyer―if you don’t have one, now would be a good time to get one. Sometimes there are free services for those who can’t afford them, or if you are adept with a computer you might try it online yourself. If you go to a lawyer, get the attorney to put a trust in place for you. That way your children won’t have the problems you are having. If your spouse had a financial advisor/agency, contact them too. You will probably need one of those certificates to become the next trustee. Or maybe your spouse made another relative or friend the successor trustee―in which case you should go together.
Insurances: Car, Life, health―they all need to be notified. If your spouse was old enough, you also need to notify Medicare. Social Security too. The surviving spouse gets a one-time death allotment, and you might be getting his/her Social Security monthly allotment.
Try not to make huge financial decisions until your head is working efficiently again―selling your house and moving, for instance. This time can be really overwhelming, and a panicky move could take you places you will really regret being. Same thing about new relationships. Yes, you’re lonely, and sympathetic hugs can turn into something more. Guard your heart during this vulnerable time.
These are just a few of the highlights, but everybody’s situation is different. You might have a suggestion or two (or a question or other response) to add in the comments section below. I hope you will. 
Above all: Abide in prayer. God will get you through this. Trust Him. Accept help from your friends and ask for their prayers. Accept that you cannot change the past―especially the things you wish you had done or hadn’t done. Give the guilt and anxiety that weighs on you to God. You don’t have to carry that heavy, self-imposed loads. Remember, Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30, NKJV)

Anne Baxter Campbell is a Christian writer with a couple of best-sellers to her credit. As a recent widow, she’s attempting to share bits of wisdom gained from her experiences as well as trying to give hope to other grieving folks. Contact her (or find out more about her) by going to her blog (, Facebook (, Twitter (, or Amazon page ( ).

1 comment:

  1. Dear Anne...

    Thanks for your very nice and timely comments. I too lost a spouse in recent months. It has been a very difficult time. Keeping busy has been the answer for me after our 62 years of marriage. I'm now back to doing more writing, which is a very big help. Again, thanks for your kind and helpful words. Jim Williams (aka Big Jim Williams)