When a loved one dies, it is often an overwhelming time in a person’s life. While this may be, it is important to not let certain responsibilities fall to the wayside. Instead, there are many steps to be taken to ensure a deceased’s estate plan is taken care of, including:
Notify Family Members and a Funeral Director
After the death of a loved one, it is important to let their family members and other individuals who were close to them know. In addition to this, a funeral director can help with the funeral, burial, publishing an obituary, and ordering a death certificate.
Find the Necessary Legal Documents
An estate plan often includes many documents. This can include a will, trusts, insurance policies, beneficiary designations, and much more.
Consult an Attorney
During estate administration, it can be beneficial to contact an experienced attorney to navigate the legal aspect of the process. An attorney can assist by identifying the assets within the estate and inventory them. They can also help to properly distribute the estate.
Review the Deceased’s Insurance and Employee Benefit Plan
The insurance company of the deceased should be contacted to determine how the individual’s benefits should be paid. It is also important to contact an employer to see if any benefits may be payable to the deceased’s family members or other beneficiaries.
Cancel Unneeded Services
In some cases, the deceased may have left behind services that have to be discontinued, including:
- Credit cards
- Cell phone plans
- Car insurance
- Online streaming services or cable
- Club or gym memberships
Pay Debts and File Taxes
After a death, a loved one may have left behind certain debts or bills that must still be paid. An attorney can help during this time to determine which should be paid and which can be negotiated.
Distribute the Estate
An individual’s assets need to be distributed to the correct beneficiaries. This can include payments outlined by a will, trust agreement, retirement account, insurance policy, or more. It also requires the title to assets to be changed to the proper recipient. This may be for real estate, accounts, policies, vehicles, and more.
Review and Update Your Own Plan
The death of a loved one can also change your own estate plan. It is important that this is reflected in your plan by updating it. This may mean a new executor, trustee, or a change in beneficiaries.
Contact our Firm
The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.