Surviving Spouse Corner: Join Us for MOAA’s Surviving Spouse/Spouse Summit

Surviving Spouse Corner: Join Us for MOAA’s Surviving Spouse/Spouse Summit
Image by John Harman/MOAA; Getty Images photo

A couple worked together diligently to gather all their important papers, lists of contacts, and telephone numbers and placed them in a safety deposit box at their bank. However, one important detail was missing: The husband never had his wife sign the card allowing her access to the safety deposit box. After his death, it took months of correspondence and legal action before she was able to obtain the papers that she needed to continue the life she had envisioned as a surviving spouse who was prepared. 


Being a military surviving spouse is never easy, and even though we might think we are prepared for the future, unexpected circumstances and questions arise that we must be prepared to answer. 


Spouses, military members, and surviving spouses who will be attending MOAA’s 2022 annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo., are invited to participate in this special summit Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. for answers to key questions, including: 

  • How do we access VA benefits? What is the survivor assistance program?
  • Are you aware of the recent legislative issues that impact families and survivors? How can we encourage our elected representatives to take action?
  • What are the important steps to take to be prepared for life after a spouse dies?
  • How do we begin the difficult process of getting rid of possessions accumulated over a lifetime in order to downsize?
  • What are the many benefits MOAA provides for surviving spouses?


The summit will begin with an informative panel presentation, followed by round table discussions. The following topics will be presented:

  • Downsizing Made Easy — Renée Brunelle, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council (SSAC)
  • Preparing for the Future — Gail Joyce, MOAA board member, chair of SSAC
  • Second Marriages and Other Important Issues — Capt. Paul Frost, AFC®, USN (Ret), MOAA Program Director, Financial & Benefits Education/Counseling/Veterans Services
  • Current Surviving Spouse/Family Advocacy Actions — MOAA Government Relations Staff
  • Assistance for Surviving Spouses — VA representative


Presenters, assisted by SSAC members and MOAA staff, will lead the roundtable discussions. This will provide everyone an chance to ask questions and interact with other participants. 


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn ways to be better prepared for the future to guarantee that as a surviving spouse you will be the one who has access to the important papers. Learn more about MOAA’s annual meeting.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


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About the Author

Virginia "Gail" Joyce, Surviving Spouse
Virginia "Gail" Joyce, Surviving  Spouse

Joyce is a MOAA board member and chair of the Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter.