Tips for Sorting Through Finances After You Have Lost A Loved One

Resolving finances of a loved one who has recently passed away can be especially complicated, particularly if you were not looped in on that person’s individual plans well in advance. Thankfully hiring knowledgeable professionals such as an estate planning attorney can help you to resolve finances after a loved one has suddenly passed away. 

If your loved one made it difficult to find the relevant documents or store these with a code, it could take you months or even years to figure out what they intended. First of all, it can be difficult to move through this process while also coping with grief if you do not have the support of outside professionals. Don’t make any emotional decisions when you are in the immediate aftermath of coping with a loved one’s death. You can ask for help from a financial advisor or an estate planning attorney who should be knowledgeable about the probate process.

If your family member already had a financial advisor or an estate planning lawyer, this individual should be the primary point of contact. This person can be significantly helpful in tracking down hard to find accounts or coordinating with other professionals while you sort through your emotions. It is recommended that if you are serving as the personal representative or helping to close out the estate, you get multiple copies of the death certificate.

The funeral home handling arrangements can help you with this and it is recommended that you ask for at least a dozen but preferably 20, since you will need to provide these original death certificates to insurance providers, financial institutions and more. The human resources department of the person’s employer should be notified if the deceased was working at the time of his or her death. Ask whether or not there are any life insurance policies that were active or whether any benefits coverage could continue for family members.

The name of the company that administers the retirement plan should also be discussed at that point in time. The original will and trust, where applicable, should be identified as soon as possible because this can help to address many of the most common questions surrounding the probate administration process and closing out the estate. The support of a lawyer will help you during a time when you already have enough to worry about and when you are concerned about being able to address all of these issues effectively.

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