Losing your partner is one of the hardest things anyone can go through. As you’re dealing with a lot of different emotions and situations, start with some of the more immediate decisions.
1. Arranging a funeral
Ask a funeral director for a quote so that you understand all the related costs. You can get them to break each cost down by item so that you’re sure it’s all necessary. Some of the main costs are:
- Funeral director fees
- Death certificate
- Cemetery or cremation arrangements.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Department of Human Services may be able to provide some support paying for the funeral. You can call them to find out more information:
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs: 13 32 54 (1800 555 254 for regional callers)
- Department of Human Services: 13 23 07
2. Looking into the will
If your partner has left a will then you will need to gather a few details so that the executor of the will (the person named in the will to carry out the deceased’s wishes) can collect the assets of the deceased, pay any debts and distribute the property as set out in the will. Look for these documents to provide to the executor:
- Bank statements
- Credit and store cards
- Tax records
- Superannuation details
- Records of investments.
If your partner passes away without a will then you’ll need to look up your state or territories’ process to know next steps. It may be worthwhile seeking further advise from a solicitor.
3. Changing bank accounts and bills
Get in contact with your bank and also any billers to change the name on the joint accounts to your name.
4. Getting a picture of where you stand financially
It’s likely that your financial situation is going to change. Start by getting a clear picture of your current position and then building a budget for the next couple of months. At this stage you don’t need to think too far ahead, but it is good to have a plan in place.