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Death Of A Loved One

Losing a loved one is one of life’s most painful events, and everyone handles grief and loss differently. Time helps to heal the emotional pain, but there are practical matters that need immediate attention. The family of the deceased still has the challenges of daily living to contend with, and that can be especially difficult in time of loss.

When a spouse or parent dies, it often impacts a family’s income, causing worries about meeting household expenses. If you’ve planned ahead, it’s possible that there’s a life insurance policy to help you surmount the initial financial hurdles and maintain your standard of living. A policy payout often comes in a single large sum, so you’ll need to decide how to use the money to the greatest benefit. Before making a hasty decision, allow yourself time to consider what’s important – a decision that’s best made when your emotions are not clouded by grief. Will you need the insurance money to live on? Did the deceased buy the policy as mortgage protection? Is it intended to pay for the children’s education? Do you need some of it to pay funeral expenses? For more ideas about handling a payout, be sure to read the Inheritance section of

While it’s a good idea to postpone making major financial decisions for a while, some things may need your attention in the short-term, such as:

  • Making sure that you and your dependents have healthcare coverage (if the deceased carried you on his/her policy).
  • Keeping current on the mortgage, utilities, and other living expenses.
  • Canceling credit cards that are in the deceased’s name.
  • Contacting the Social Security Administration regarding survivor benefits.

If you are the executor of the deceased’s estate, you will have other responsibilities, too. Federal estate taxes, if any, are generally due nine months following a death, while income tax returns are due as normal. State laws vary, so check with the State Tax Department (the state in which the deceased resided) for rules regarding estate taxes. Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, you may need to consult an attorney for help.

If your loved one did not leave a significant inheritance or life insurance death benefit, this could be an excellent time to protect the remaining family members by buying an insurance policy. The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company offers a variety of products to meet your needs.

For help balancing the personal side of loss with the practical side of your family’s financial necessities, please contact us.

Products for this Life Stage:*

Add protection for your family.

Whole life insurance can help to protect your family if you pass away.

Additional Information and Advice:

Request our free booklet.

Send for our booklet called Losing a Loved One, which can help guide you in planning a funeral, choosing a final resting place, and managing insurance and financial concerns.

Learn more about inheritance.

The Inheritance section of includes information you should know before spending or allocating funds you may receive following a death.

Western & Southern Life does not provide tax or legal advice. Please contact your tax or legal advisor regarding your situation.

*Products suggested for this Life Stage are not a specific recommendation or solicitation to purchase.


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Last Updated: 12/14/2017