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What to Do Financially After Your Spouse Passes Away, with Richard Dri

Presented by Retire Happy

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

It’s a subject no one wants to think about, but at some point, many people will be forced to endure the loss of a spouse. The emotional toll alone can be overwhelming, but how do you deal with the financial implications when your spouse passes away?

It’s an experience this week’s guest had to face. Richard Dri is a financial planner with over 20 years of experience. In 2020, he lost his wife, Mary, after a five-year battle with ovarian cancer. He has now dedicated his work to helping widows and widowers with their finances. I sat down with Richard to discuss picking up the pieces financially after losing your spouse.

Drawing on his experience and professional knowledge, Richard explains the first steps a person should take financially after their spouse has passed away. He answers questions about what to do with the will and how long you should wait before acting on the will.

We discuss how CPP is treated upon the death of a spouse and why it’s so important to hold joint accounts with your spouse. Richard shares some tips on where to look for insurance and other survivor benefits. After all, income can be an immediate concern when a spouse dies.

And we also discuss the topic of executors: who should you appoint as your executor, and when might it make sense to hire a professional executor, i.e., a lawyer or trust company? Richard has three children; however, he has appointed a trust company as executor for his will. To find out why you’ll need to listen to the full episode!

This episode of The MapleMoney Show is brought to you by Retire Happy. Retire Happy has been providing top-quality information and resources on retirement, investing, and estate planning for over 20 years and was named the best personal finance blog by The Globe and Mail.

The Retire Happy VIP Members Library includes subscriber-only downloads, including an Annual Financial Checkup and checklists to help you with everything from reviewing your portfolio, to what you need to know about your duties as an executor. Become a Retire Happy VIP, by signing up for free today!

Episode Summary

  • Richard shares his personal story of loss
  • The first step to take (financially) when your spouse passes away
  • How CPP is treated when a spouse passes away
  • How quickly should you act on the will?
  • The benefit of having joint accounts with your spouse
  • Where to look for potential survivor benefits
  • When it might make sense to name a trust company your executor

I’ve heard that people spend six months, nine months before they actually read the will. Unless it’s a very big will or complicated circumstances…you can take a little bit of time to weigh (your options). - Richard Dri Click to Tweet

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