One of the first challenges that I faced was finding new health care. My husband had been a state employee for many years, and my college-attending daughter and I had always had coverage under the state employees health plan. The first meeting with the Human Resources Department informed me that we would be covered through the end of April, and could COBRA the state health care for a year at over $1000 a month. Obviously, that was not a viable option. Thank goodness, this happened the day before the Affordable Care Act deadline. Luckily, a friend was one of the advisers helping people with ACA implementation, and enrolled us under the deadline. Yesterday, we received our new Blue Cross cards in the mail (with 6 days to spare).
With Death Certificate in hand, I retrieved my husband’s final paycheck from his employer. Then I went directly to the bank, thinking that I would be able to open an Estate Account and deposit it. Silly me. I already had requested and received an Employer ID Number (form SS-4) from the IRS <very quickly and efficiently, I might add>, so….I presented EIN, death certificate and check…but it didn’t work.
I need a Letter of Testimentary from…the Clerk of Court, I think…this is in my lawyer’s hands. We’ll see where this leads.
Tomorrow it will be four weeks since my husband died of a sudden heart attack.
Through this blog I will track through the processes required as I encounter challenges and surprising supports from friends, family, my husband’s former employer and the rest of the legal system surrounding a death.
Yesterday, I finally received the death certificates – after going through two required corrections. MANY things cannot happen without death certificates, the most important of which is beginning the process for collecting on life insurance policies.
Cash flow has been my biggest challenge so far ,besides getting out of bed in the morning. Seven days before my husband died, my temporary job ended. He was on Spring Break from teaching, so we had a nice leisurely week together. Luckily, a family member loaned me enough cash to get past the the first 30 days (my husband died at the end of the month, but his salary for the month of March is going into the Estate). There was an employee death benefit – but it takes six weeks to process after receipt of the death certificate.
So – I am writing this knowing that the first big hurdle is past.
This blog will be a trail of breadcrumbs for women who find themselves unexpectedly widowed. I hope it is helpful for those of you who are starting the journey with me.
We are still planning to write the curriculum for use by nonprofits, especially those that offer services to women. I hope you will all share your experiences as I share mine!