When a loved family member dies, there are a wide variety of emotions and decisions that must be made. The circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one may be sudden or long-term. Regardless, the death of a loved one is often the hardest thing that any of us ever have to deal with. While this is a difficult time, there are some ways to ease the pain, move through the legal process, and handle urgent matters. We provide a comprehensive approach to this process in our free guide, “What to Do When a Loved One Dies.” Here is a summary of what you need to do when coping with the death of a loved one.
First and foremost, you and your family may need emotional support as you go through the grieving process. It’s important to understand that, although there are many different theories about grieving, everyone approaches the grieving process differently. It’s important to talk with your friends and family about how you are genuinely feeling. Death can be overwhelming, so many seek out professional help when struggling with the loss of a loved one. There are a wide variety of resources available to assist you with emotional support. You can start with your own doctor, the hospital, a therapist, or even a support group to fi nd the help you need.
8 Things to Do Immediately
Each of these items is discussed in further detail in our free guide. Here is a list to get you started thinking about what needs to be done if you are coping with the death of a loved one. Our guide will help you take care of these important matters and perhaps even delegate some of these items to other family and friends.
- Obtain a legal pronouncement of death.
- Inform close family and friends first.
- Obtain a copy of the will.
- Determine funeral arrangements.
- Make a formal announcement.
- Secure property and pets.
- Forward mail.
- Begin the probate process.
A Power of Attorney Is No Longer Valid
A Power of Attorney is designed to help a loved one take care of certain medical and financial decisions while a person is living and either unavailable, incompetent or otherwise incapacitated. After a person dies, the power of attorney is no longer valid; it can no longer be used to manage a person’s affairs. After a person passes, the Will takes effect and determines who will manage the estate and how assets should be distributed, All assets (cars, houses, bank accounts, etc.) are subject to the probate process unless there is a Trust already established. Your attorney can help you navigate these issues.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
Dealing with a loved one’s wishes, the family dynamics and the estate which must go through probate, can be a challenging time. Contact the estate planning and probate attorneys at Frame & Frame for guidance and schedule your consultation today.