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The Case of the Hamptons Widow

Gerry Beyer has a new post on his Wills, Trusts and Estates Blog that hits home, especially for women whose husbands take care of the household finances.

If you tragically lose him prematurely, will you know how to handle your affairs?

Think of all the loose ends: bills to pay. Accounts to transfer. Life insurance to collect.
All this on top of the burden of grief and despair at losing a loved one.

Women – and men – who are “taken care of financially” still need to know what to do, should tragedy strike. And this includes rich and poor alike.

From Gerry:

Many of us have lost loved ones unexpectedly. When and if this does happen to you, you should make sure that their finances and accounts are in order. 

According to Theresa, Henry took care of everything, including the finances. So when Henry died, Theresa just continued to pay the bills, unaware that she needed to change the accounts into her name. 

According to Naomi Cahn, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, “There’s a lot of nitty gritty that is involved, in terms of transferring title to anything that is jointly held, or anything that the deceased person held at the time.”