After a death, there are many legal details to hammer out.
While it is not necessary to get a lawyer, it is strongly recommended. A lawyer will make sure all the ‘t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted”. The time following a death of a loved one is extremely emotional, and even the closest family will have disagreements over the most trivial matters. To make sure there is still peace in the family, it is a good idea to let a lawyer figure things out.
Before getting in touch with a lawyer there are several important documents that you need to gather. Those include:
Vehicle and Boat titles
An executor is the personal representative of your estate. They are the person in charge of taking control of your assets, paying off any debts, and distributing assets to your beneficiaries per the terms and conditions of your will. You can choose anyone to be the executor of your will, but it is a good idea to choose someone who is both competent and trustworthy. The person you choose to be executor should be outlined in your will. Someone you appoint to be the executor of your will has the right to refuse, so you should have a backup executor in place just in case.
A Certified Death Certificate is necessary before anything can be done. A death certificate can be obtained through a Funeral Director. It is a good idea to obtain multiple copies of a death certificate as most agencies require a certified certificate and not a photocopy.
Family Priority Checklist
Often, families ask us what to do or who to notify when a loved on has passed away. We've found that the best advice is to contact a trusted estate attorney who will know exactly how to handle each situation. However, we have developed a list of the people or services a family should consider contacting regarding the death. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, however it will provide a good start to those wishing. Please click the link below to download the document. As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Here you will find information about Social Security death benefits and survivor's benefits available. Click below and you will find an overview of these benefits along with the toll free phone number. And don't worry about the paperwork: We will take care of that for you.