If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, it can be a very difficult time for you and your family. Not only can it be difficult for you to mourn the loss, but you may also be unsure of the steps you need to take in the days and weeks following the death. This article can help identify what steps you should take following the death of a loved one.
One important thing to remember is that you should not try to do everything by yourself. When people ask what they can do to help, take advantage of their offer. Therefore, the first thing you should do is contact the immediate family.
Bringing the family together is an opportunity not only to comfort one another but also to delegate tasks and make important decisions. Those decisions might include: who will write the obituary, where the wake will be held, when the funeral will be, who will work with the funeral home, and who will be responsible for contacting other family and friends.
Within a few days after the death, and after you have delegated duties, you should begin arranging payment for the funeral. You should look through the loved one’s records to see if the funeral was prepaid. If not, you will need to find a way to pay for the service. Oftentimes, the family may need to help pay for it. Additionally, if the loved one had a life insurance policy, the policy’s beneficiary can use the death benefit as a resource to help fund the funeral. Furthermore, if the person was in the military or some other fraternal group, such organization may have burial benefits available.
After the funeral service, you should go through the person’s records and identify any and all assets the person has left behind. If the person had a Will, you should take the Will and the list of assets to a probate attorney to help you with the probate process. Working with a probate attorney can alleviate much of the problems and stress associated with probate. A probate attorney will work with you and the loved one’s family to ensure that the assets are properly administered through the Probate Court and can give the family peace of mind during such a difficult time.
Bill Hesch is a CPA, PFS (Personal Financial Specialist), and attorney licensed in Ohio and Kentucky who helps clients with their financial and estate planning. He also practices elder law, corporate law, Medicaid planning, tax law, and probate in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. His practice area includes Hamilton County, Butler County, Warren County, and Clermont County in Ohio, and Campbell County, Kenton County, and Boone County in Kentucky.
(Legal Disclaimer: Bill Hesch submits this blog to provide general information about the firm and its services. Information in this blog is not intended as legal advice, and any person receiving information on this page should not act on it without consulting professional legal counsel. While at times Bill Hesch may render an opinion, Bill Hesch does not offer legal advice through this blog. Bill Hesch does not enter into an attorney-client relationship with any online reader via online contact.)