No Rash Decisions After the Loss of a Spouse
I met with a close friend this past week and listened as she talked about the recent loss of her spouse. She discussed possibly selling her summer camp and maybe her home of 25 years. Later she stated she was not ready to sell her home and remembered hearing somethong about doing nothing for 1 year after losing your spouse.
As with any loss she reported daily tasks become harder, and that relying on friends and family was a must. But her family was encouraging her to sell her home and summer camp to save money and move to a place that was easy to maintain.
When she asked me, I recommended doing nothing for 1 year after the loss of a spouse with regard to selling a home. I instructed her to immediately consult her financial planner/accountant and attorney.
With more and more families living on one income, or working 2 or more jobs, thinking of how to cut costs is already difficult. Add the stress and dynamics of losing a spouse and the financial/emotional floor can drop out from under your feet quickly. Daily tasks become overwhelming, bills and statements come in daily and a spouse who never had to deal with the finances now must. Team decisions are now individual decisions.
Your financial planner/accountant and attorney are individuals that should be looking out for your best interest legally and financially regarding selling your home. Ask them about the advantages and disadvantages of selling your home after the loss of a spouse. Find out where you stand financially. Gather the information for future use.
Close friends and family might be worried about you making rash financial decisions after a loss, or encouraging you to move to another home to get away from those memories and burdens. It is a valid concern for you to be aware of. My advice is to listen to what your most trusted friends have to say but do not act. This is not to deter you from talking to your involved family members as well but to get opinions from those who will be honest and truthful with you without a financial stake.
When your world gets turned upside down by the loss of a spouse you will get support from those who truly care. These are the people that will stick with you and help you make the decisions that are best for you, your home and your financial future. Some people want to purge and remove everything that reminds them of loved ones. Keep these memories alive to help you through the grieving process. Often times your sons, daughters, close friends believe downsizing your home is good.
Taking 1 year to assess your situation after a loss of a spouse is the right decision to protect you. Make NO rash decisions regarding selling your home after a loss of a spouse unless you are in financial distress and need to cut costs is my recommendation.