Your spouse died in Minnesota and you need help. Including me, nobody enjoys talking about death.
During the grieving process and thereafter, consider the following checklist to help you make important decisions.
Step 1: calculate 9 months from your spouse’s death
I agree, focusing on a funeral and making major life changes is stressful. For a moment, lets assume your family has this under control.
The most significant deadline the living spouse needs to know about is 9 months after your spouses death. Starting on the date your spouse died in Minnesota, IRS Form 706 has a 9 month deadline. Wait, what? What does this have to do about anything?
IRS Form 706 is a special form used by the IRS. This form allows your now deceased spouse to pass their unused tax exemptions onto you.
If the wealth you and your spouse shared is modest or minimal, perhaps you care less about this 9 month deadline than me. On the other hand, you would be amazed how quickly life insurance and retirement benefits can turn your modest estate into “I wish I knew about the 9 month deadline”.
Thus, if your spouse died in Minnesota, the first step is knowing there is a 9 month deadline.
Step 2 if your spouse died in Minnesota
If your spouse died in Minnesota, start contacting every insurance company and pension company you and your spouse did business with. If you do not know how to contact an insurance company, start by seeking information from Minnesota’s Department of Commerce.
If your spouse was working during the time they died, contact your spouses’ employer and ask for information on employee benefits your spouse might have signed up for.
Step 3 if your spouse died in Minnesota
If your spouse was receiving social security benefits, I recommend contacting the Social Security Administration. If you have minor children, consider reviewing whether you and your family are eligible for survivor benefits offered through the Social Security Administration.
Step 4 if your spouse died in Minnesota
The next step is to make sure you and your family have continued health coverage. If you and your family are in economic need of benefits, public benefits are available here. If you are a mature adult, you are likely eligible for medicare benefits, which can be found here.
Otherwise, if your spouse died in Minnesota and you do not know what to do about health insurance, consider this resource as an outline for your options.
Final step if your spouse died in Minnesota
The final step is gathering important documents and financial papers. For this step, consider using or buying folders having the capabilities of storing thick packets of information.
In your first folder, place important documents before your spouse died. For example, birth certificates, marriage license, and estate planning documents like a will, health care directive, military records, etc.
In a second folder, place important documents you receive after your spouse died in Minnesota. For example, a death certificate, bills that you receive in the mail, and any information specific to organ donations.
Need more help?
If your spouse died in Minnesota and you need help, please contact this law office.