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Financial Coaching For
Surviving Military Spouses

Financial Coaching for Surviving Military Spouses


You've Served. We Want to Serve You.

We assist service members, veterans, and their immediate family members of every branch of service, service era, and discharge status. Our goal is to serve those who have served us.

The death of someone you love and care about can be a challenging, confusing, lonely and painful experience. After the death of a loved one, it may be difficult to make decisions. Unfortunately, there are a tremendous number of decisions which must be made. The following checklist and information will get you started dealing with the practical aspects that follow every death. We urge you to ask for and accept help from all possible sources as you try to cope with your loss and the next chapter of your life.

Generally, you work first with the Veterans Administration (VA) to claim all benefits for which you are eligible. Following that, you may be eligible to receive free beneficiary financial counseling services for up to 24 months through the VA. If you do not qualify for this service, Wings for Widows will help you at no cost with the many financial and other practical matters facing you.

Beneficiary Financial Counseling Services (BFCS)

You may be eligible for free financial counseling service and online will preparation if you are the beneficiary of one of the following insurance policies:

  • SGLI (Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance)
  • FSGLI (Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance)
  • VGLI (Veterans’ Group Life Insurance)
  • TSGLI (Traumatic Injury Protection)

You should get financial counseling as soon as possible after receiving your insurance money and before making any major financial decisions. Getting financial counseling right away will help make your insurance money last well into the future. Call Financial Point Plus at 1-888-243-7351 to get started. You have two years from the date the claim is paid to utilize this free service. Click here to learn more about BFCS.


When BFCS is no Longer an Option

There could be any number of reasons you do not qualify for BFCS. No problem – we’ve got you!

Wings for Widows will help you get your feet back on solid financial ground and equip you to make smarter decisions. We cover the following, tailored to your needs, at no cost to you:

  • Estate settlement
  • Credit and fraud prevention
  • Budgeting and debt management
  • Banking and investments
  • Titling and ownership transfer
  • Taxes
  • Health, life, and property insurance
  • Will, POA, and advanced directives

To get started with Wings for Widows, simply click here.

The following checklist is provided below as a general list of things to do and the order in which to do them after the loss of a military spouse. Your situation may be different, so not all may apply. 

  • Social Security
  • VA claims
  • Insurance claims
  • Bank accounts
  • DMV
  • Loans
  • Discharge/Separation papers (DD Form 214)
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Birth certificates of minor children
  • Receipted itemized funeral bill


The National Cemetery Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, provides burial benefits for veterans. According to the website, “Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 131 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family.” Note that space in a national cemetery may not be reserved in advance.

  • A gravesite in any of our national cemeteries with available space
  • Opening and closing of the grave
  • A burial liner provided by the government
  • A headstone or marker provided by the government
  • Perpetual (ongoing) care of the gravesite
  • Loans

At the time of need, the person planning the burial can also request other VA memorial items as well as military funeral honors provided by the Department of Defense. These items and honors have other eligibility requirements.

Cemetery Name:


Contact Person:


Military Honors including headstone, marker, or medallion; burial flag, and other memorial items may be available if eligible. You will need to apply for these items. Click here for more information and to download the request form.


Crematory Name:


Contact Person:


Paper Name:

Contact Person:


Firm Name:

Contact Person:


Benefits for Spouses, Dependents, and Survivors


1.Veterans Affairs (VA)

  1. Vets4Warriors
  • For 24-hour confidential peer support for service members, veterans and families, call Vets4Warriors at 1-855-838-8255

  1. Veterans Crisis Line. If you are in need of immediate assistance:
  • Dial 988 and Press 1 to talk to someone
  • Send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder
  • Start a confidential online chat session at VeteransCrisitLine.net/Chat

  1. Code of Support Foundation
  • COSF connects military, veterans, caregivers, and families to the support they have earned through their service and sacrifice.
  • Call 1-571-418-6339, Option 1 or learn more at https://www.codeofsupport.org/get-help/

  1. National Association of County Veterans Service Officers
  • Find a Veteran Service Officer in your State or County
  • Visit https://www.nacvso.org
Help for Survivors

American Widow Project (https://americanwidowproject.org/) The American Widow Project recognizes and honors the sacrifices families of our fallen make and believes that no military widow should feel alone in their grief. Every grieving spouse deserves the opportunity to help rebuild their life, at any age and stage of loss. That’s why the American Widow Project exists: to provide a platform for military widows to heal together and find support and hope for a brighter future.

Gold Star Wives of America (https://www.goldstarwives.org/) – Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. works to preserve and enhance benefits to surviving United States military spouses and their children; to help our members and their children face the future with courage and determination, and to honor the memory of our military spouses who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Navy Gold Star Program (https://www.navygoldstar.com/) Navy Gold Star is the Navy’s official program for providing long-term support to surviving families of sailors who pass while on active duty. Navy Gold Star is an inclusive program – regardless of your loved one’s military branch, location, or manner of death. Our commitment to you is that regardless of the branch of service, we will provide you with support and help you locate your branch’s survivor services. Navy Gold Star support coordinators provide dedicated outreach and support when, and for as long as, you desire. Our coordinators are located all over the United States and are ready to help you in any way they can.

(https://www.taps.org) TAPS offers help, hope and healing to all who are grieving the death of a military or veteran loved one, regardless of the relationship to the service member or the circumstances or cause of death.

General Resources

American Legion                       (https://www.legion.org/)

American Gold Star Mothers (https://www.goldstarmoms.com/0

Arlington National Cemetery (https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/#/)

Army & Air Force Mutual Aid Association (https://www.aafmaa.com/)

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon        (https://mnbtyr.ng.mil/) Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a comprehensive program that connects military service members and their families with community support and resources in MN.

Folds of Honor                         (https://foldsofhonor.org/) Since 2007, we’ve provided life-changing scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled military.

Military Connection (https://militaryconnection.com/jobs/) – Employment assistance

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MAC-V) (mac-v@mac-v.org)

Minnesota Military & Veteran Exchange (https://mnme.us/) A coalition and community with one simple goal: to honor and support those currently serving, veterans, military families, and caregivers.

National Center for PTSD (https://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp)

National Guard Association (NGAUS) (https://www.ngaus.org/)

National Resource Directory               (https://nrd.gov/) The NRD is a database of validated resources that supports recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration for service members, veterans, family members, and caregivers.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (https://www.nmcrs.org/) The mission of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs.

Navy Mutual Aid Association (https://www.navymutual.org/)

Neptune Society (https://www.neptunesociety.com/veteran-cremation-benefits)

PATRIOTLink                                  (https://patriotlink.org) PATRIOTlink offers thousands of vetted, direct and cost-free services right at your fingertips.

Presidential Memorial Certificates (https://www.cem.va.gov/facts/Presidential_Memorial_Certificates.asp)

Fallen Patriots               (https://www.fallenpatriots.org/) We are dedicated to serving the families of servicemembers from all branches of the armed forces who have died as a result of combat casualties, military training accidents, service-related illnesses, suicide, as well as other duty-related deaths as ruled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Operation Homefront (https://operationhomefront.org/) Our mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive—not simply struggle to get by—in the communities that they’ve worked so hard to protect.

Project Got Your Back (https://projectgotyourback.org/) Connects veterans to resources.

USO                                                   (https://www.uso.org/)

Vets4Warriors              (https://www.vets4warriors.com)  Their mission is to provide sustained, confidential peer support to any veteran, service member, family member, or caregiver whenever they have an issue, wherever they are in the world. We help before challenges turn into crises.

Wounded Warrior Project (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/) The WWP mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to your military service on or after September 11, 2001. You may also be eligible for the program if you are the family member or caregiver of a Wounded Warrior.