Opinion | Widows, Juggling Their Grief and Finances

To the Editor:

Re “You’re a Widow. Now What Do You Do?” (Sunday Business, April 14):

Last year was a disastrous one for me and three of my friends. Those three lost their husbands suddenly, without a plan in place. I, on the other hand, knew of my husband’s imminent demise. We were fortunate (hard to put it that way) that we were able to plan.

When my husband died, I knew what and where our assets were and who should help me with forms and filings. We had prepared for a funeral and burial, and I knew where to locate important papers — insurance, deeds and bank statements.

Preparation spared me so many of the difficulties that were described in the article and that my friends experienced. My advice would be to have the hard conversations before the inevitable, write down the information and hope for longevity.

Among my fellow recent widows, I was the “lucky” one.

Ellen G.K. Rubin
Scarsdale, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Five years after my husband’s death, I’m still dealing with paperwork that turns up from time to time, requiring me to sign or send or pay something.

To those who may have to go through the double whammy of losing the love of your life and dealing with hundreds of documents and requests, please don’t be as blithe as I was. Demand that your spouse share all the financial secrets, obligations and details.

It won’t spare you the grief, but it may allow you more time to grieve.

Anne Bernays
Cambridge, Mass.

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