Things can be made easier if you take a few steps of preparation, should you realize your ill or elderly spouse is going to pass away.
MarketWatch recently discussed in "How to prepare for the death of your spouse," that when you know ahead of time that your ill or elderly spouse is going to pass away, there are some preparations that you can make.
Among the preparations that can make things easier are:
Gather up all important legal and financial documents. This includes Social Security information, marriage licenses, retirement account information and anything similar. If your spouse has an estate plan, then also locate it. The important thing is to make sure you know where everything is and can access it quickly when needed.
If possible and if you have not previously done so, talk to your spouse about his or her wishes and instructions for what should be done after death. Knowing what your spouse's burial wishes are, for example, means that you do not have to come up with a plan for them on your own.
If your spouse has an estate attorney, talk to the attorney. Let the attorney know the situation so he or she can prepare and assist you in making the appropriate legal preparations.
Reference: MarketWatch (Dec. 8, 2016) "How to prepare for the death of your spouse."