No one likes the word ‘DEATH,’ but in actual no one can deny that it won’t come. Dealing with the death of a family member or loved one is a stressful time. Moreover, if you don’t know what to do with their finances, properties, and other assets, it adds an extra burden on a deceased family. If you are also going through the same phase, then in this article, we are going to cover a list of matters you must deal with.
Let’s dive in
The first thing you have to do is – requesting death certificates at State’s Vital Statistics office. Get at least 10-20 copies. The reason is most of the creditors, unions, financial institutions and government agencies just need a death certificate to close all the accounts, without even asking you anything. Therefore, it is considered as the valuable document before you start the process of closing up financial and other accounts of deceased.
Obtaining letters of administration or Testamentary letters
If your deceased loved one was doing business with someone, you’ll have to provide proof to those companies that you are going to close the deal of deceased financial affairs. This proof can be letters of administration or letters Testamentary. If a passed away person had a will and you are the estate executor, you can easily obtain letters from city hall in the county or from the local courthouse where the perished person was living during the time of his/her death.
Consult a lawyerAfter the death of your loved ones, consulting a lawyer becomes important because of numerous reasons. A legal advice from a professional lawyer could protect your estate dollars, making it easier for family members avoid potential liabilities. When looking to hire an attorney, make sure to hire one that offers all assistance regarding trusts, wills, and estates. Do not hire divorce, personal injury or criminal lawyer by any means. Look for a law firm that is AV rated as it assures that the attorney you are hiring has all legal knowledge about your case and also received ethics rankings and professional standards.
Notify government agencies and financial institutionsNow it’s time to notify government agencies and financial institutions, following individual’s death. The important firms to contact are-
- Employer of deceased
- Social security administration
- Credit Card companies
- Insurance companies
- Credit Bureaus
- Utility companies
- Post office
Notifying Social Security is important as they put the name of the perished individual on the Social Security Master Death Index, preventing any fraudsters to collect the payments of deceased.
Apply for cash benefits due
Last, but not the least, apply for due benefits to survivors. It includes deceased insurance policies, mortgages, credit cards bonds, car loans etc. Find out if insurance payments were already paid on the accounts. If they are paid, then heirs are entitled to cash benefits.