The death of a family member is something we typically don’t think about until it happens. Death is tragic yet unavoidable. When someone you love passes there are a number of things that must be done. While this is difficult to think about, knowing in advance what to do can make the whole process a little less stressful. By making things easier you are better able to concentrate on the issue at hand, mourning and honoring the recently deceased.
Steps to Take Following the Death of a Loved One
· Contact family members and others close to the recently deceased who should know immediately of the passing.
· If your late family member has dependents you need to contact the person set up as the child’s guardian.
· Begin making plans for the remains of the deceased.
· Contact any official agencies that should know of the passing, such as the post office, the social security administration, and banks or creditors.
· Begin making plans for a funeral or memorial service if this is something you would like to do. Never be afraid to ask for assistance with this. It is extremely difficult to manage a death on your own and your loved ones are a great resource for aiding in the planning and implementation of this event.
· Contact the paper and develop an obituary for the deceased to let the community know of the passing.
· Locate your loved one’s will and prepare for settling the estate.
Settling an Estate
Settling an estate can be a very confusing process to navigate, especially in a time of grief. There are important steps to consider when the time comes to settle the estate of your loved one.
· Once you have located the will, identify the chief executor.
· Contact the beneficiaries identified in the will.
· Locate the important legal documents of the deceased, such as their birth certificate, marriage certificates, social security card, and death certificate.
· Develop a list of all the assets of the deceased and locate all necessary paper work surrounding these assets, such as mortgages.
· Speak with a tax advisor to find out about any tax steps necessary in settling the estate.
· Contact the late family member’s life insurance company to begin the collection process.
· Once these things have been done it is possible to begin distributing assets.
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