What to do if you lose a dear one due to COVID-19?
Over the past one and half years, the unrestrained destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic has put everything to a standstill. Though the government and authorities have enforced lockdowns and other restrictions to curb the spread of the virus still, this menacing virus has claimed a chunk of lives and made people dumbfounded. Although the situation is relatively controlled now, a potential third COVID-19 wave can’t be overlooked. In this traumatized situation, everyone should do proper financial planning to secure their families’ future. Only proper investment plans can help you to combat the outcome of this deadly virus.
Let’s take a look at the tragedy of the Hyderabad-based Chauhan family and how this COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted the entire family.
Mr. Paresh Chauhan (53) used to live with his wife Shalini (50) and only son Akash (20) at a society in Hyderabad. He was employed as a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at a renowned IT company. Shalini is a homemaker, and Akash is a final-year engineering student. When the COVID-19 second wave was at its peak, the entire family was affected by this lethal virus. Unfortunately, Paresh couldn’t combat the virus and passed away. Though Shalini and Akash overpowered the virus, this unfortunate accident shattered them and changed their lives utterly.
The Chauhan family was a typical nuclear middle-class family, where Paresh was the main pillar of the family. Since he was the only bread earner, his sudden demise has put family members in great mental, physical, and financial strain. It would become an arduous task for Shalini and Akash to overcome mentally, physically, and monetarily. In this challenging situation, Shalini should now come forward and take responsibility for the house. She should find out ways regarding how to manage their monthly expenses and so on.
In this COVID-19 pandemic situation, this tragedy can happen with any family. Thus, everyone should be equipped financially as well as emotionally. There will certainly be an emotional void if you lost your loved ones in COVID-19, but you should be strong financially so that you can support the dreams and goals of the rest of surviving members. You need to manage expenses meticulously so that your family won’t face any financial issues during this tough time.
Let’s take a look at what you should do at this crucial time.
10 things you can do if you lose a dear one due to COVID-19
- Figure out the benefits receivable from the employer
- Verify all imperative financial documents thoroughly
- Find out alternative sources for income
- Check whether the deceased has made any WILL or not
- Inform the Authorities
- Claim the insurance policies
- Check if there are any ongoing loans/ liabilities of the deceased
- Restrict your budget
- Invest as per your requirements
- Take adequate medical cover
1. Figure out the benefits receivable from the employer
To strengthen your family financially, you need to communicate with the company/employer of the deceased member. Also, ask the company whether they offer any kinds of benefits like employee’s provident fund, gratuity, and other assistance.
2. Verify all imperative financial documents thoroughly
Usually, in most Indian middle-class families, the men of the houses are responsible for this. Women and other family members don’t have an adequate idea about these financial documents. But, now, you need to find out all financial and other imperative documents and scrutinize and verify them properly. If required, you may take help from a deft finance expert proficient in taking care of these.
3. Find out alternative sources for income
If the primary bread earner passed away because of COVID-19, then how will the family survive? First, the family must figure out some alternative income sources. They can go for a second line of income to meet the members’ monthly expenditure and other requirements.
In the above scenario, Shalini is a homemaker, and Akash is a college-going student. So, Shalini can start some small businesses while fulfilling other responsibilities of the family. For example, she can begin catering or may sell homemade, handcrafted items, or she can give coaching classes to bear the monthly expenses of the family members.
Also Read: The impact of COVID-19 on health and life insurance choices
4. Check whether the deceased has made any WILL or not
A WILL is an imperative legal document that should mention all your assets, debts, liabilities, and responsibilities. If there is a WILL, then go through it properly and check what items are included there.
5. Inform the Authorities
This is a pivotal step that family members should take to avoid further complications. First, notify all the authorities, including Banks, insurance companies, in charge of transferring the property names and so on. Make a list of authorities where you need to notify so that there will be no hitches in the future.
6. Claim the insurance policies
Most Indian middle-class families purchase term plans, endowment assurance plans, and other types of insurance policies from established insurance companies. So, check whether the deceased member had purchased any policy or not. If yes, then check all the documents of the policies, and claim insurance policies. An insurance policy like a term plan will certainly offer a layer of financial protection to traumatized family members of the deceased policyholder.
7. Check if there are any ongoing loans/ liabilities of the deceased
People usually mention their debts, loans, and liabilities in their WILL. So, check if the deceased member has any ongoing loans or liabilities. If yes, then check whether it is insured or the amount can be laid off or not.
8. Restrict your budget
Since you are already aware of your monthly budget, now, you need to truncate unnecessary expenses because of the tragic loss. You should find additional income sources to manage everything within your budget.
9. Invest as per your requirements
Now, you have the PF amount and the sum assured from the policies, so make an investment plan and secure the future of your family members. If you are looking for some additional monthly income to support your expenses, you can go for Monthly Investment Schemes (MIS) from Post offices and banks.
10. Take adequate medical cover
Check your Mediclaim and find out whether you are properly covered or not. If not, then take an adequate medical cover as per your needs.
Indubitably, this is a tough time that everyone is going through. But while fighting the virus, you should try to strengthen your financial stability in every possible way.