What To Do When A Loved One Dies


Whether or not it's expected or unexpected, the death of a loved one can be difficult to deal with financially, emotionally, and even legally. There is a lot that needs to be taken care of in addition to the burial services. Even if the deceased did not leave a large estate, loved ones may still need help sorting through the property and possessions that were left behind. Here are three things that should be done after the passing of a loved one.

Determine If There Is A Will

The first thing that should be done when a loved one dies is determine whether or not there is a valid will in place. Around 55 percent of people do not have a will or an estate plan. After death, a lack of will or estate plan can make the division of assets very difficult. If there is a will in place, it's important to check to see if it's the most current version and if there are any mistakes in the will. 

Determine The State Of The Estate

Another thing that should be done after someone dies is determine whether or not the deceased was current on their taxes, how much money they have in their accounts, and what other assets there are that need to be considered. Any debts that need to be paid should be payed through the estate. In some cases, loved ones feel that they may be responsible for paying debts left behind by their loved one if the estate is not worth enough to cover the cost. However, they are under no legal obligation to do so.

Determine If Probate Is Needed

Another thing to consider is that probate may be necessary. Often, probate is associated with large estates. However, probate can be necessary even for small estates. Probate can be necessary when a will is contested, when there is no will in place, when all of the assets are in the deceased's name and they need to be transferred to someone else, and when there is a mistake in the will. An estate can also be opened when creditors are looking to be paid back from the deceased's assets. A probate attorney will be needed when probate is necessary. The average cost is between $150 to $200 per hour or a flat rate of a few thousand dollars depending on the complexity of the estate.

A loved one's death can be difficult to deal with. After the death it's important to determine whether or not a valid will is in place. It's also important to know what properties and assets comprise the estate and whether or not probate will be necessary. Contact legal help, such as with Curtis Alexander McCampbell, PC, for more information.


22 November 2017

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