What if the unthinkable happens and your spouse dies unexpectedly? As the surviving spouse, there are several steps you need to take during this difficult time. For example, secure copies of the death certificate and inform life insurance companies and the Social Security Administration of the death. In addition, consider whether you need to file an estate tax return. The return is due within nine months of the date of death. Also, review your estate plan, as you’ll need to make revisions in areas where you named your spouse as beneficiary. Contact us for help.