Having worked in the financial field for more than more 20 years, I had some knowledge of what to do when a person dies. The passing of my father-in-law earlier this year quickly revealed how much I didn’t think to consider in terms of transitioning my mother-in-law—the surviving spouse—to her new life.

While there is a lengthy commentary I could write about the experience, there are four key things I think everybody should be aware of.

1. The surviving spouse will need cash, or at least the ability access i…
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