The death of a spouse is a traumatic event in a person's life. Nothing can prepare a person for the tremendous loss of a companion. This is often one of the main events that leads to the creation of an estate plan. For those who are widowers, estate planning is a big deal.
After the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse has estate planning needs that should be addressed. First, the surviving spouse should choose a durable power of attorney. This person would be able to act on the spouse's behalf if they become incapacitated. A health care proxy should also be designated. A health care proxy would make important medical decisions if the person was not able to communicate their wishes. Existing estate plans, such as a will or trust, should also be updated, along with beneficiary designations.
When both spouses are alive, important decisions can be made by the other spouse. However, when one spouse passes away, it is important to draft advance directive documents. A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help their client review the estate planning documents they already have or create new ones, depending on their situation. An attorney knows what estate planning documents are important and can help their client make sure their needs are met both now and in the future.
The death of a spouse is a major event in a person's life. After the death, the surviving spouse should make sure their estate plan is up to date.