What To Do When a Loved One Dies?

loved one sick in hospital bedWhen a loved one passes away, it can be an overwhelming and stressful time. There are a lot of things that need to be taken care of in a short period of time regarding the deceased. It is important to have a plan in place so you know what needs to be done and who is responsible for each task.

You don’t have to handle major death plans alone as an attorney at Three Rivers can help you. If you are wondering if there is an attorney that does wills near me, look no further than a Vancouver WA lawyer at 3 Rivers Law Center.

Here’s a “When Someone Dies Checklist” to help you:

Notify the Family and Close Friends

It is important to start the mourning process. Alerting other loved ones as soon as possible will give them time to make tentative space for upcoming burial or memorial services.

Contact the Deceased’s Employer

The employer will need to know about the death and will also have some important paperwork that needs to be filled out.

Contact the Deceased’s Bank and Other Financial Institutions

You will need to close any accounts that are in the deceased’s name and transfer any assets to the beneficiaries.

Make Arrangements for Burial Services

This includes deciding on the date, time, and location of the service, as well as who will officiate. During this time, you will plan the obituary or hand over details for someone else to do so.

Obtain a Death Certificate

This document will be needed for many of the tasks you need to do in this list.

Notify the Social Security Administration

The deceased’s social security number will need to be reported so that benefits can be terminated and any money that is owed to the estate can be collected.

Cancel the Deceased’s Memberships or Subscriptions

Such items include things like gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, club memberships, etc. Forgetting to do so may result in unnecessary bills.

Arrange for the Disposition of the Deceased’s Belongings

You will have to handle clothes, furniture, and personal belongings. You will need to decide whether to donate, sell, or keep these items. If the deceased left a will or trust, they may have already decided where such items will go.

Change the Title on Any Owned Vehicles

If the deceased owned a car, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle, the title will need to be changed to reflect the new ownership.

Return Any Items that were Rented or Borrowed

Borrowed items include things like library books, DVDs from Redbox, or furniture from Rent-A-Center. If the deceased was renting property, you will have to remove the personal items from there.

Notify the Post Office To Forward/Hold the Mail

You will need to fill out a form at the post office to have the mail forwarded to your address or held until you can pick it up.

Close Any Open Credit Accounts

Any credit cards or lines of credit in the deceased’s name will need to be closed to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Update the Will and Estate Plan

If the deceased had a will or estate plan, their spouse will be able to update it to reflect the current situation if need be. Your attorney in Vancouver, WA can help.

Pay Any Outstanding Bills

This includes things like utility bills, credit card bills, and medical bills.

File Any Insurance Claims

If the deceased had life insurance, health insurance, or other types of insurance, you will need to file a claim to collect the benefits.

Settle Any Tax Debts

If the deceased owed any taxes, you will need to contact the IRS to arrange for payment.

Probate the Estate

If the deceased had a will, their heirs will likely need to open a probate. This is a legal process that transfers ownership of the assets to the beneficiaries. However, in the event of a trust,  there is not likely a need to probate the estate.

Moving on after death of a loved one is difficult enough – let us help you take care of the legal details.

Contact a Vancouver, WA attorney at Three Rivers Law Center today to get started on your estate planning needs. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with all aspects of estate planning, including wills and trusts, as well as probate. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.

How Can We Help You?

Submission of this contact form does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not use the form to submit confidential or sensitive information. The information submitted on this form is not privileged. As with any information submitted over the internet, there is a risk that the information below could be intercepted, viewed, or retrieved by a third party. Please exercise caution.