Help for Surviving Spouses
The death of a spouse or partner can be one of life’s most stressful events. We have information and resources to help you take control of your finances, navigate critical financial moments, and understand your rights.
Tools and Resources
Caregivers and nursing home debt
Helping someone you love to move into a nursing home can be stressful enough. Nursing homes should not try to make you personally responsible for a loved one’s bill as a condition of admission.
- Know Your Rights: Caregivers and Nursing Home Debt
- You can help caregivers spot illegal nursing home debt collection tactics
Taking Control of Your Finances: Help for surviving spouses
Figuring out how to manage your finances while grieving a spouse may feel overwhelming. This step-by-step guide helps you do the most important and pressing things first.
When a loved one dies and debt collectors come calling
When a loved one dies, you may learn about debts they owed before they died. You may not recognize these debts. If you are a surviving spouse or family member, you may even wonder if that debt now belongs to you. Learn about your debt collection rights as a survivor.
Am I responsible for my spouse’s debts after they die?
Don’t assume you have to pay. If your spouse dies, you’re generally not responsible for their debt, unless it’s a shared debt, or you are responsible under state law. Learn more and get help. Visit AskCFPB.
Planning ahead together
Share financial information and an inventory of virtual valuables now with your spouse now so you both have a complete picture of your family finances.
Data Spotlight: Financial challenges faced by recently widowed older adults
More than one million adults aged 60 and older lost a spouse in 2019, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from the 2019 Census American Community Survey, our data spotlight demonstrates that recently widowed older adults face higher poverty rates, greater housing cost burdens, as well as other critical financial challenges. Read our data spotlight about the financial challenges that recently widowed older adults face.