Back To Basics: Steps To Take Following The Death Of A Loved One

The passing of a loved one is not easy. The closer you were to the deceased the bigger a toll that it takes on you mentally and emotionally. You may experience anger, frustration, and numbness as you seek to process the passing. As you begin to contemplate what you must do next, you experience a feeling of being overwhelmed with facing the unexpected. All of these feelings are a part of the normal process of grieving and it is typical for a person responsible for handling the deceased’s estate to feel overwhelmed. Thinking ahead of time and knowing what to expect can reduce these feelings and help make the overall process go more smoothly.

Beyond the Funeral Arrangements

Many people are already familiar with arranging a person’s funeral, burial or cremation. After you have made arrangements for a funeral service, a viewing, the burial, cremation or spreading of the ashes, there are still a number of actions that must be completed to wrap up the deceased’s affairs. It is of the utmost importance that you contact all relevant people and organizations that need to know of the deceased’s death.

This includes not just family members, but the deceased’s attorney, financial advisers, the deceased’s employer, and financial institutions like a bank. Creditors should be informed of the passing and credit cards should be closed out. A death certificate should be obtained in order to claim life insurance proceeds and any other accounts with beneficiary designations. Some financial companies will require an original of the death certificate. Working with a professional experienced in this area can make the process go much more smoothly.

Each one of these named persons or organizations above may play a significant and vital role in wrapping up the deceased’s affairs as well as making sure that their assets are transferred to the correct people. The deceased’s financial institution may be able to give a good picture of the assets and property in the deceased’s estate. The deceased may have had life insurance or other retirement accounts through work that the employer will be able to assist with.

Legal Guidance For the Estate

Contacting the estate planning attorney who prepared the deceased’s estate plan documents is one of the best choices that you can make in this situation. Not only will this attorney be familiar with the deceased’s estate but also the contents of the will and any other testamentary instruments or documents that the deceased made. The estate planning attorney should also be able to offer guidance for the executor of the deceased’s estate as it goes through the New York probate process. If nothing else, an attorney who deals with death on an everyday basis can offer guidance on what the best options for the survivors are to take.

See Related Posts:

Back To Basics: Your First Estate Planning Meeting

Ademption: A Stumbling Block To your Estate Plan

Back To Basics: Preventing Will Contests

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