Coping with finances and grief when a loved one dies

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of life’s most stressful events imaginable – not only because of the psychological grieving process, but because of the financial challenges that can be incurred as well. According to the ONS between January 2022 and October 2022, an average of 47,344 people die in the UK every month, which means that potentially hundreds of thousands of people will be grieving this month. Losing a loved one or preparing to lose a loved one is always going to be extremely difficult, but there are things you or they can do to slightly ease the process.

Talk To Someone

Talking to a family member or friend is a good way to begin the healing process and work through the many complex emotions that go hand-in-hand with the grieving process. If you’d rather not speak to someone you know, then GriefChat is a free online service which connects you to a bereavement counsellor who is specially trained to listen to you and to point you in the direction of further help and support. It’s available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm.

Look After Yourself

As well as the well-known emotional effects, grief can take a huge physical toll on those suffering from it. Exhaustion, aches and pains, a lowered immune system, weight loss (or gain) and trouble sleeping are all known symptoms of grief. Meditating, listening to relaxing music, getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy diet can help. If you don’t feel like cooking, then ask friends and family to help you prepare meals and see your doctor if you need further advice.

Make To-do Lists

Financial affairs can seem like a small issue when the immediate, emotional reality of a loss kicks in, but once the death has been registered, things need to start moving fast on the financial side. The funeral needs to be arranged, insurance companies, pension providers and banks need to be informed, and the executor of the will needs to be contacted. If possible, have the conversation with loved ones before they pass away about who needs to be contacted should they die, so you can focus as much energy as possible on the grieving process. There are many online checklists you can use as well to ensure you’ve covered everything.

This blog is intended to provide information, not financial advice, to help you make an informed decision about savings and investments. We do not offer financial advice. You should contact a financial adviser, who may charge a fee, if you want financial advice.