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Estate Planning Tips After a Death

Posted by Search Control on February 13, 2020

Learning that a loved one has died is a difficult time for any family. The thought of handling all the estate planning after a death can, at times, be overwhelming. The more you know about the steps that need to occur after the death of a family member, the easier it will be to handle the estate.

Steps of estate planning to be completed immediately after the death

Notify loved ones

The first step you must make is to notify friends and family. Once that step has been completed, you will want to inform the employer, attorney, and accountant so that they can start preparing the necessary paperwork.

Obtain a death certificate

It is critical that you obtain the official death certificate as soon as possible. To give official notice to the deceased banks and creditors, you will need to supply them with an original death certificate.

Plan the funeral

You will need to work with a funeral home to coordinate the burial. It is critical that you check to make sure if the deceased had any special requests to follow. If not, you will plan the funeral based on the family’s’ wishes.

Post funeral steps 

Gather the important documents

Once the funeral is behind you, you will need to start gathering the vital paperwork. You will want to locate a copy of the Will. You should check with the loved ones’ attorney to see if they have a copy of the Will. If not, the deceased may have a copy in a safe deposit box at a bank. If there is no Will, a court will need to make decisions on how the estate is settled.

In addition to the Will, you will want to gather any personal financial records, such as the deed to the house, bank accounts, insurance policies, and investment accounts.

Meet with an attorney

Once you have the financial documents gathered, it will be time to set up a meeting with an attorney. The attorney will help you understand the various assets and liabilities. Also, the attorney will advise how the estate will need to be handled, depending on the Will.

Cancel any recurring expenses

It is essential to figure out any recurring subscriptions the deceased might have had and cancel them, so they are not held liable going forward. These expenses might include tv services, newspaper subscriptions, gym memberships, and car payments.

Contact insurance companies and employers.

You will need to reach out to the insurance companies to determine if there are any policies in place and how and when those policies will be paid. Also, you will want to reach out to the deceased employer and see if they had any death benefits that will be paid out.

Determine the estates’ liabilities and taxes

When a person dies, their outstanding debts and financial obligations do not just disappear. With the assistance of the attorney, you will need to determine what liabilities are still outstanding and have them paid by the estate. Also, the attorney will help determine if any tax filings need to be completed.

Distribute the remaining assets to the estate beneficiaries

Once the estate has paid the outstanding liabilities, it will be time to distribute any remaining assets. The attorney will review the Will, any trust agreements, and investment accounts and distribute those assets accordingly. Also, the attorney can assist with preparing any deeds to transfer real property.