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I remember the first time I walked through one of life’s hardest moments as an advisor. I had begun working with a couple in their sixties, and we were about 3-4 months into our work together. Without warning, the husband suddenly passed away at his desk from a heart attack.

The call I received from his widow on the following Monday morning was a stark reminder of the intimate role we play in our clients’ lives. Outside of her immediate family, I was the first call she made. This jarring change brought with it a daunting slate of financial questions.

That day, we sat together, dialing banks, insurance companies, and their 401K provider to gather critical information and ensure she could focus on what mattered most: grieving and beginning to process the irreplaceable loss of her husband.

Often, one spouse is the financial navigator while the other manages many of life’s other facets. Documenting and co-creating a clear financial roadmap isn’t just about planning for a comfortable retirement—it’s about ensuring continuity and peace of mind during life’s hardest moments. The loss of a loved one is a time for mourning, not for making monumental financial decisions alone.

This is a difficult topic, but I encourage you to discuss it with your spouse. “Do you know what to do first if something were to happen to me?”

If you need help navigating this conversation, we can help you identify the questions and answers that help your spouse know where to start. Once you’ve documented your plan, you can resume focusing on life’s best days, knowing your spouse is cared for on the hardest ones.