Many elderly women are not fully prepared for what might happen after their spouses pass away.
We live in an age where, at least on a legal level, men and women are treated equally. Women can now enjoy a far greater range of possibilities than their ancestors would have ever imagined.
Even today, many women defer family finances to their husbands.
This is especially true for older women, which can leave the women poorly prepared to handle things after their husbands pass away, as The New York Times discusses in "Helping Women Over 50 Face Their Financial Fears."
The biggest thing for most women, is that they need to know how to manage the day-to-day finances. They need to learn how much money there is, what bills need to be paid and how any money should be invested.
Some widows also have problems in that their husbands own a business that they inherit and do not know how to run.
The best way to deal with these problems is to avoid them, if at all possible.
Husbands and wives should discuss things to make sure the wife is prepared, in case the husband passes away.
Other widows have legal problems, since their stepchildren might seek to challenge the widows' inheritances in court. These problems need to be addressed with the help of an experienced estate attorney.
Reference: New York Times (Sep. 1, 2017) "Helping Women Over 50 Face Their Financial Fears."