Estate Planning Case Study: A Recently Retired Client Who Lost Her Husband

Elderly senior woman throwing up her hands

Mildred and her husband George retired together to a beautiful ranch in North Texas. Soon after their retirement, Mildred’s husband passed away. This was a terrible shock for Mildred and her family — an adult daughter and four grandchildren.

Mildred was suddenly faced with dozens of important questions and responsibilities, from paying the mortgage (“Where did he keep those bills?”) to accessing their online banking website (“What was that password?”). Mildred needed lots of information that only George had. She thought that George made a will, but she wasn’t sure where it was. After several days of searching, Mildred found an old will that was outdated, but she couldn’t locate a recent will. She was uncertain about how an outdated will would be handled in Probate Court, so Mildred and her family reached out for the help of an estate attorney. 

The death of a spouse can be emotionally devastating. It can also leave the surviving spouse in a bind if he/she didn’t have an estate plan. Read on as our estate planning attorneys explain the steps Mildred took to rectify her situation. 

Step 1: Contact an Estate Planning Attorney

Mildred searched, but she was unable to locate George’s current will, so she contacted an estate attorney right away. The Davidson Law Group welcomes new and existing clients to schedule a consultation with us. We’ll decide how to settle an estate without a will and find solutions for other issues that may occur. 

Step 2: Review the Estate Planning Documents 

When Mildred contacted an estate attorney, they sat down with her to review wills and powers of attorney. Changes were necessary, so they prepared new documents for her to sign. In the midst of grief and change, Mildred was able to determine how George’s estate was handled, and she named each of her beneficiaries in a new will.      

Related Post: What Happens When Your Executor Dies?

Step 3: Inform the Spouse’s Former Employer

The next step for Mildred was to notify her spouse’s former employer. She asked about George’s pension, life insurance policies, and other benefits. Since George was still covered by his employer’s insurance at the time of his passing, Mildred was eligible to receive group life and accident insurance benefits. 

Davidson Law Group Quick Tip: Mildred will need to file taxes for George and pay taxes that are due. Since there may be estate taxes and other complex issues, it’s best for her to contact an attorney at Davidson Law Group for assistance. 

Related Post: Estate Lawyer Advice: Inheriting a Retirement Account

The Davidson Law Group Is Here for You

If your spouse has passed and you have questions about settling their estate, Davidson Law Group can help. We offer flexible estate plans that provide peace of mind in times of uncertainty. Contact our estate planning attorneys in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler, Texas to learn more.