The Financial Confusion for Widowers

Estate planning to avoid confusion

It is a most difficult time for an individual that loses their partner. It can also be a very confusing time financially.   This is especially true if the deceased spouse was the one that looked after all the financial matters in the relationship.

On top of grieving they most often have to make the burial arrangements. Then once they begin to settle they are faced with sorting out the finances.  This can be a daunting task. They have got to see if a will is in place, and then if they have been named as the executor which is often the case, and now they have an additional responsibility. Fortunately there should be an estate lawyer, perhaps the one that drafted the will that can assist them with this. It could be that the will needs to be probated. This may mean the collection of additional financial information depending on the size of the estate. There could be other people involved like beneficiaries to the will.

The senior who finds themselves in this situation should contact their accountant if they have one so they know what their financial situation is especially regarding the tax situation.  If there are any taxes outstanding these will need to be handled by the estate.

The more assets that are involved the more difficult it is for the widower. They now have to make some decisions as to how they will account for these. It will have to be determined if there are any tax implications as a result of this. If there is a business involved, many times the estate lawyer needs to know the assets and liabilities concerning this so they can continue with the probate and the transferring of the property into the new ownership. Again, the accountant that was used for the business may be able to assist with this.

Once everything has fallen into place and all of the financial legalities have been settled, the decision making doesn’t end there. The surviving spouse now may have to do some future tax planning in regards to their acquired additional assets. There are a few resources they can rely on to assist with this. A financial planner is an excellent resource to help the individual plan for the future to protect their assets and perhaps make some appropriate investments.

Another important resource is the accountant. This expert can help the individual realize their potential tax breaks. They can help to ensure that the tax responsibilities are met properly, to avoid tax implications in the future.

It is a great stress reliever for the surviving spouse to have the right experts to rely on in respect to their current and future financial situation.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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