Whatever you did in your life together with your spouse, one thing you cannot do is dying!!
So if you or somebody else you know has recently lost your spouse, here is a checklist:
1. For about 6 months do not take any major financial decision: you are not in a very cool / stable mind set. So just wait for your body and mind to come back to a state of normalcy before you take a major financial decision, ESPECIALLY if it was your spouse who was the major financial decision maker.
2. Be vigilant for all paper work, but do not work yourself up into a frenzy for completing the paper work. The PPF account which you wanted to close in April can be closed in June, do not get tensed about the whole thing. As long as money is in the bank it will continue to earn interest.
3. If your spouse was the nominee in a bank account, that bank will want a death certificate AND ALL YOUR DETAILS – it will open a new bank account and transfer all the money. The savings bank nominee is likely to be replicated on all the fixed deposits.
4. Each mutual fund has to be approached separately with a copy of the DC, your bank details (remember your spouse’s bank account would be closed, and it has to be substituted by your bank account). So when you go there please go with your new cheque book, pan card, address proof, photo (in case your kyc is not done, please get it done). In case you are a joint / either holder you will be spared some work, but you will still have to change the bank mandate.
5. Your PPF account CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED to you if you are a nominee. Theoretically this is money on demand, but it should be withdrawn as soon as possible – unless of course if there are multiple nominees. Remember a nominee cannot appoint a nominee.
6. All the pension plans have a nominee – so you need to collect the original corpus amount from which the pension was being paid.
7. Companies normally help in recovering the LIC’s accumulation of the Super Annuation fund. Same process as the LIC pension.
Do not make any emotional decision. No selling of a house. No moving in with a sibling, or children – especially if you are young and can live on your own (I mean if you are 85 you may not have a choice, but if you are 58 you have).
No buying a pension policy or a life insurance policy…no nothing. Just move your money into a mutual fund and let it lie there. Either understand what is happening or find a trustworthy person who has been around long enough. I handle such cases regularly (and since I do it gratis I am SURELY not seeking work through this post!!).
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