Bringing Children into the Process
Don't harm your own financial security by trying to use money to soothe children after the loss of a parent. Even if the kids are grown, it can be tempting to use financial gifts to make their loss easier. Understand that they are grieving, too. If you're the stepparent or an unmarried partner, you may be surprised by some unexpected changes in your relationship with them.
Financial Security and Changing Financial Relationships
Losing a loved one is stressful for everyone involved. Adding money to the mix — a lot or a little — can add to the stress. Talk to your therapist about how your relationship with your children or stepchildren has been affected by the loss. Don't try to make things better with money or gifts, and absolutely don't give in to threats or pressure to give money that you can't afford.
Gifting and Estate Planning
Once things have settled enough that you've had time to think about your future financial goals and have created at least a general financial plan, you'll be able to update your estate plan. With your financial goals in mind, decide whether to gift money to family members now or in your will. Update your own estate beneficiaries and revisit your executor, health care proxy, and power-of-attorney designations.