The death of a close friend or a family member can rock your world in big ways. There are many different legal matters that need to be addressed as soon as possible after a loved one passes away. Although this can be an overwhelming time, understanding the steps to take can be important.
First of all, pets need to be taken care of.
Your loved one may have listed directions about who is to receive the pets, but you need to ensure that these animals have food, water, and shelter during the interim period.
Second, make sure that you think carefully about the security of your loved ones home.
Someone should be put on duty in order to turn the lights on and off regularly, collect newspapers, visit the house and keep an eye on it, collect mail every day. May also be a good idea to change the locks. Unfortunately, some criminals take advantage of obituaries being published in the newspaper as an attempt to break into the home, and this is particularly true if it is believed that the loved one had access to prescription medications.
Next, remove any perishable items from the home and set up mail forwarding.
This may not be easily accomplished until someone else has been formally appointed as a personal representative of the estate.
Next, begin a spreadsheet or a log of all the time and/or expenditure associated with managing the deceased’s affairs and arrange for a visit to the safe deposit box.
You may also want to cut off or return any credit cards that are in the deceased individual’s name, since it is illegal to use them. This process could be overwhelming, but this is not the case when you meet with a New Jersey estate planning attorney to talk through your options.