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Are you prepared if the unthinkable happens to your spouse?  Charlotte Fox, author of “And Then There Was One: A Comprehensive Workbook Guide for End-Of Life Preparedness and Transitioning After the Loss of a Loved One” was not. When her husband died unexpectedly at age 54, she was unprepared to handle all that would come in the next few months, both intellectually and emotionally.

Charlotte could hardly function and take care of herself after the loss of her husband. Someone else made all the funeral arrangements for her but she doesn’t remember whom. It took her four months just to be able to open files and bills and start to take care of the piles of paper work that had built up after her husband’s death. While he was alive, Charlotte’s husband took care of everything. When he passed, Charlotte found herself completely overwhelmed by the paperwork and decisions that had to be made. Luckily she had friends and family who helped her until she could handle things on her own.

Charlotte now dedicates her life to making sure others are not as lost a she was in the first few months after her husband’s death. There are some simple things that everyone should discuss with their spouse so they are prepared if their spouse dies. Immediately, you will need to know your spouse’s wish for their remains. You should know what, if any, life insurance payments you should expect. In Fox’s book, she provides over 70 checklist items everyone should be prepared with. Here are 9 examples:

  1. Information about retirement accounts and pensions
  2. Birth certificates of both the person who has passed and the survivor
  3. A certified copy of your marriage license, if applicable
  4. Automobile insurance policies
  5. Homeowner’s and health insurance policies
  6. Mortgage records and home deeds
  7. Social Security number
  8. Life insurance policies
  9. Log in information for any online accounts, including email and Netflix

Make sure you are prepared and ready for the unthinkable. Discuss and plan for your death with your spouse so they can spend the time needed to grieve, instead of trying to figure out how to survive without you.

Read original article here.