Once a loved one has passed away, the last thing on your mind is dealing with the estate administration. As a positive side note, the law mandates a 30-day waiting period before beginning any Wills and Trusts proceedings. Because of this, you may spend time with your loved ones and mourn the loss of your family member. There are, however, some things you should do in the meanwhile to avoid any complications in the probate process.
- Inform The Bank As Well As Other Institutions
To protect yourself and your family from identity theft and financial fraud, you must inform your departed loved one’s financial institutions, such as their bank and credit card provider, about their passing. It is important to put a freeze on your loved one’s credit cards to protect their cards from being used without their permission. The executor or administrator of the estate is responsible for closing the accounts once the legal process of probate has been initiated.
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- Inform The Social Security Administration And The Department Of Veterans Affairs
Notify the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Administration immediately if your deceased loved one has been receiving those benefits. Veteran’s benefits, such as burial and survivor payments, may be available to help with these costs if your beloved one served in the armed forces. When the Social Security Corporation and the Veterans Affairs Administration are informed of a death, they will immediately stop any further payments that would have been issued to the deceased.
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- Bring In Or Pass Along Mail
By taking care of your loved one’s mail regularly, you can protect them from the risk of having their identity stolen by criminals who obtain access to their mailbox. You will also have a clearer understanding of your loved one’s assets and liabilities as you go through the mail because financial paperwork and invoices will start arriving in the mail. If you cannot check your loved one’s mailbox regularly, you can have their mail forwarded to your address.
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- Lock Up The House, Car, And Other Valuables
As quickly as possible after a loved one’s passing, appropriate steps should be taken to safeguard the home, vehicles, and other possessions. Changing the locks is a good idea if you want to ensure that no one else can get into your home. All vehicles, including cars, need to be stored in a secure garage. Do not allow anyone to leave the house with your belongings, including clothing, jewelry, or documents. To reassure them, you can say that once the probate process is over, they will be able to retrieve their share of the estate.
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- Check For The Presence Of A Will
Check where your loved one kept their will and other estate paperwork. Following 30 days of the decedent’s death, the original will must be filed with the court. The administration of an estate may also necessitate the use of papers that are not required to be documented, including a living trust. Once you’ve found them, put them away somewhere secure. You should hand the estate planning documentation to the specified executor in the Will.
- Request Official Death Records
During settling the estate of a departed loved one, there are several circumstances in which you will be required to present a death certificate. Because it takes an average of one to two weeks to get the items, you should place the purchase as soon as possible to avoid any needless delays in the management of the estate. You should have at the very least five notarized copies of the coroner’s report in your possession at all times. Ten, on the other hand, might be necessary for certain scenarios.