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Financial Steps to Take After the Death of a Loved One

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Financial Steps to Take After the Death of a Loved One

Last Updated: 02-01-2017

The death of a loved one is a very traumatic experience. In moments like this, it’s understandable if the only thing you want to do is mourn. However, there are legal and financial considerations to be made, important ones that could affect your future. This post will highlight some of the things you need to do to ensure that you don’t end up suffering another injustice.

Step 1: Get the death certificate

You should get your loved one’s death certificate as soon as possible. This is because many government agencies, banks, creditors, insurance firms, the Social Security Administration, and even the IRS will want to see the original copy of the death certificate before allowing you to take charge of your loved one’s financial affairs. The fact that so many of these government and financial institutions require the original copy means you have to obtain multiple copies (about 20) to be on the safe side.

Step 2: Request a Letter of Administration/Letter of Testamentary

If your loved one had a will, then the executor of his or her estate is most likely named in the will. If he or she left no will, then the state will have a list of people who can act as executors. If you are the executor (based on the will or the state law), then you should get a letter of administration or testamentary which will give you the right to distribute the deceased’s property and carry out his final wishes if he had any.

Step 3: Notify the relevant government agencies and financial institutions, such as creditors, of the death of your loved

Once you have received the letters of testamentary and the death certificate, you should notify all the relevant government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration and utility companies of your loved one’s death. This is to prevent utility companies from continuing to bill the individual and to prevent fraudsters from stealing his or her identity. Notify credit card issuers and investment companies of the death as well. If the deceased had any debts, you will have to pay them off using their estate.

Step 4: Consult a wrongful death lawyer

Getting Letters of testamentary or to be the executor can be quite trying if you haven’t done it before. Getting to locate and take control of all the deceased assets and to pay off his or her debts might also be somewhat difficult if you have no experience. An estate lawyer will know what to do in such situations. They have helped other clients before and they know where to look to locate assets. If the death was an accident, a wrongful death lawyer will help you get the financial compensation you deserve from the deceased’s insurance company. Ask your lawyer if there are any benefits you are eligible to apply for, or if there are any other things you need to apply for.

Step 5: Cancel subscriptions, memberships, and accounts

Contact service providers and cancel subscriptions, memberships, and other services that might still be charging the deceased.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list. Contact a qualified wrongful death lawyer to get more info and assistance regarding what to do after the death of a loved one.

Last Updated: 03-24-2017