Ways to Manage Money After a Loved One Dies

Closing bank accounts or filing for insurance death benefits, several important financial decisions must be made when a loved one dies. Here are some tips to help you navigate these difficult tasks. The first step is to obtain copies of the death certificate. Typically, the funeral home will get these for you. You’ll also need these for other companies holding life insurance, mortgages and credit cards.

Know Your Loved One’s Assets

Often, a deceased loved one will leave behind property and assets that are easily accessible. It includes property they own in their home, such as cars, furniture, jewelry, and personal possessions with sentimental value. You may also find property in their bank accounts and other financial documents. It’s important to find and account for these items to properly distribute any remaining money or assets to family members who want them. You can use websites that claim to find unclaimed funds, but it is best to contact your loved one’s most recent employers and online life insurance and retirement benefit databases.

You’ll also need to secure legal documentation of death, such as several copies of a death certificate. Access to bank and other financial accounts, the beginning of the probate procedure (if necessary), and the submission of a life insurance claim will all be required. It illustrates how crucial that you and your spouse carry life insurance. Denver life insurance provides financial security, helps with debt repayment, helps with living costs, and helps with any last or medical expenditures. It would safeguard your spouse and kids from severe financial losses if something happened to you or your spouse.

Share your last wishes with your loved one.

When talking to your loved one about their final wishes, it is important to find a time and place where they can focus on the conversation. If they are upset or stressed, they may be unable to process what is being said and could miss important details. The conversation doesn’t have to be done in one sitting; you can revisit the topic as often as necessary. This type of discussion can be emotional, but it is a necessary one. Your loved ones may have questions, so be prepared to respond honestly and completely. It is also helpful to provide them with information they can look at later on to ensure they understand what their family member would want them to do in the event of a death.

Create a Will

The death of a loved one can leave many tasks to take care of. Among them are the logistical and financial duties of closing out a lifetime of affairs. Without a will, state laws govern who inherits your assets and personal items. This process can be time-consuming and expensive. It can also produce results that don’t reflect your final wishes. A will gives you control over your assets, allowing you to choose beneficiaries and appoint guardians for children. A choice should be stored in a safe place, like a fireproof safe. You should also obtain a copy of the death certificate, which you will need to access your loved one’s financial records and accounts. The funeral director can help you get this information. The vital statistics agency in the state where your loved one passed away also provides copies upon request.

Notify Your Creditors

A spouse or executor of an estate needs to contact any creditors to close accounts and distribute assets promptly. Creditors usually halt efforts to collect unpaid debts while settling the estate. The executor should also notify the three consumer credit bureaus to mark the accounts as deceased. Most financial institutions and insurance companies require a certified death certificate to discuss an account or pay a death benefit. The funeral home, mortuary or medical examiner’s office should be able to provide copies of the death certificate. An estate planning attorney can help guide loved ones through these tasks and ensure they hit key deadlines, including those for tying up a lifetime of finances. A trusted and experienced estate planning attorney can also help navigate the probate process and find a will.

Find a Will or Letter of Instructions

After a loved one dies, there are many logistics and loose ends to tie up. Among those are finalizing their estate and distributing their assets to heirs. Start by getting copies of the death certificate. The funeral home, mortuary or medical examiner’s office can usually provide these for a small fee. It’s also a good idea to compose a letter of instruction. While this isn’t a legal document, it can help make the executor or administrator’s job easier by clarifying important wishes that might not be in the will. You can include contact information for the deceased’s accountants, bankers and doctors. You can also list specific people they want to give items of sentimental value.

Leave a Reply