Bereavement of a partner is a complex, multi-layered and individual experience. This research focused on one part of that experience, the financial and economic implications. It explored how things are, what protects some people from economic hardship when their partner dies and how some people are particularly vulnerable. The authors then discuss the implications of the findings across a range of policy and practice arenas where there are different levels of responsibility and different scope for action. They also think about the contribution of the findings to theoretical understanding of the psychological process of coping with bereavement, and make some suggestions for further research.