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Widow Care Widowed Checklist

Updated: Dec 26, 2018

Notebook and pen sitting on table

The grief & pain of losing a spouse is unimaginable to those who have not dealt with this kind of loss. While we can’t take away your pain (since only time can heal a broken heart), we want to help make the transition into widowhood easier. Widow Care offers a unique & comprehensive Widowed Checklist to help those who have recently lost a spouse.

Following the loss of a spouse, there are many obligations that need to be taken care of. Trying to research & find information about insurance, social security, financial planning and other daunting tasks can be especially overwhelming when you’re dealing with a tragic and life-changing event.

While it can seem like a lot (because, in all honesty, it is), you should first take a step back and realize that you don’t have to take care of everything all at once. You should focus on grieving, and put your wellbeing first. If you can only read one page of our guide per day, then that’s okay. Take your time to heal. Moving forward slowly is still progress.

I’ll break down the basic information that’s mentioned in our checklist. You can find the complete “Widowed Checklist” guide here, where you can find more in-depth explanations about how & why you need to take action.


  • During the initial stages of the grieving process (the first year following bereavement), you should avoid:

  • Selling your home

  • Spending large sums of money

  • Selling stocks/bonds

  • Making large, major decisions


  • Ask people for help (family, friends, neighbors, members of a religious organization.

  • Contact insurances companies, including: Life Insurance, Health Insurance, 401k accounts, etc.

  • Make a list of banking/credit cards and transfer ownership .

  • Obtain 5-10 copies of the death certificate.

  • Notify the social security office.

  • Cancel any recurring memberships, subscriptions, etc.

  • Ensure security in your home.

  • Find the passwords & pins for online accounts.

  • If you have children, change their emergency contact information


  • Avoid violent TV shows or radio stations that that may trigger depression.

  • Do consider using Facebook or Social Media to connect with other widows/widowers (but exercise caution in meeting with them).

  • Reach out to others for household help (i.e. neighbors, friends, family or members of your religious organization).

  • Take care of your health & general wellbeing.

  • Consider keeping mementos to remember your spouse

  • The full Widowed Checklist can be found here. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Widow Care by calling (301) 917-4741, or email

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