Advice From Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg on What to Do When Your Spouse Dies

Advice From Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg on What to Do When Your Spouse Dies

Advice From Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg on What to Do When Your Spouse Dies

sheryl sandberg and dave goldberg

After completing the 30 days of the Jewish mourning period, Sheryl Sandberg wrote about her husband’s death in a moving Facebook post, which was posted Wednesday and has since gone viral. Sandberg, who is Facebook’s chief operating officer and the author of the bestseller “Lean In,” spent the last 30 days grieving the loss of her husband, David Goldberg.

Goldberg, 47, died on May 1 in a treadmill accident while on vacation in Mexico with his wife. He is survived by his wife and two children.

David Goldberg’s Net Worth and Financial Legacy

Goldberg and Sandberg were considered one of the most powerful couples of Silicon Valley. Although Goldberg’s net worth is unknown, Sandberg’s is estimated at approximately $1 billion.

Goldberg worked at Yahoo and a venture capital firm before he became CEO of SurveyMonkey. When he was only 26, Goldberg sold his first company, Launch Media, to Yahoo for $12 million. He joined SurveyMonkey in 2009 and helped turn it into a billion-dollar company.

4 Tips on Managing Your Finances When Your Spouse Dies

In her Facebook post, Sandberg honored her husband and spoke about grief. She shared her wisdom with those in similar positions and gave gratitude to those who helped her during her difficult time. She also offered her advice on how to handle grief and loss in the workplace.

Sandberg’s post outlines a helpful action plan for surviving spouses. If you find yourself in a similar position, there are ways to manage the financial and emotional aftermath.

1. Ask for help and hire the right resources.

“I have learned to ask for help — and I have learned how much help I need,” wrote Sandberg. “Until now, I have been the older sister, the COO, the doer and the planner. I did not plan this, and when it happened, I was not capable of doing much of anything. Those closest to me took over…They are still doing so much to support me and my children.”

In times of grief, asking for help — whether from friends, family or professionals — can help you manage the pain of loss and deal with practical concerns, like finances. Asking for help can also include employing an attorney or financial planner, reports MarketWatch.

2. Contact financial institutions, employers and more.

Among some of the most pressing tasks after the loss of a loved one is reporting the death to Social Security. In addition to notifying Social Security, you also need to inform all insurance companies to file claims, your spouse’s workplace, past employers about pension plans and credit card companies, advises 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. You might also want to notify credit bureaus, utility companies and the post office.

3. Apply for survivors’ benefits.

According to the U.S. Social Security website, you could be eligible for benefits in the event your spouse dies. Notify Social Security as soon as possible by calling the toll-free number or visiting your local Social Security office. Certain documents you will need to have include proof of your spouse’s death, birth certificate and W-2 forms.

4. Going back to work can help.

“For me, starting the transition back to work has been a savior, a chance to feel useful and connected,” wrote Sandberg. She did, however, acknowledge that connecting with co-workers after a spouse dies can be difficult.

“I told those I work with most closely that they could ask me their honest questions and I would answer,” she explained in her post. “I also said it was okay for them to talk about how they felt.” And once Sandberg and her colleagues were able to address the elephant, they “were able to kick him out of the room.”

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This article originally appeared on Advice From Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg on What to Do When Spouse Dies

This article by Misha Euceph first appeared on and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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