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We all hope never to need to know the answer to that question; however, if you do find yourself in the position of trying to figure out what practical steps need to be taken after the death of a loved one
What Do I Need to Do After The Death of A Family Member? We all hope never to need to know the answer to that question; however, if you do find yourself in the position of trying to figure out what practical steps need to be taken after the death of a loved one, it is good to know where to start. Often, the emotional impact of a death prevents us from thinking clearly. While each death may require unique steps, there are some universal steps that most people find must be taken. Look for A Last Will and Testament: If you do not personally have an original copy, check with other family members, look in the decedent’s personal files or contact the decedent’s attorney. Obtain a Copy of the Death Certificate: The death certificate will be necessary for a variety of other steps. Contact the county or state department of birth and death records to find out how to get a certificate copy. Check for Life Insurance Benefits: Life insurance benefits can be extremely important because they can be distributed to the beneficiary right away instead of becoming part of the probate process. Make Funeral Arrangements: If you are unsure what your loved one wanted, check with other family members. You should also check with local funeral homes to find out if a pre-paid funeral service plan was established by your family member. Contact the Social Security Administration and the Veteran’s Administration: Survivor and/or death benefits may be available from either or both. You should also check with other organizations such as unions if applicable to see if any death, survivor or pension benefits are available. Contact an Attorney: If your family member had an attorney, contact that attorney first to ascertain if an estate plan was left behind. You will likely want to retain the services of an attorney at some point as well to help with the probate process. File for Probate: Depending on the size of the estate left behind, probate can be simple or extremely complicated. As a general rule, the executor of the estate named in the Will files unless no Will was left behind in which case another adult should file with the help of an attorney. Experienced estate planning attorneys Worcester MA of the Law Offices of James A. Miller estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Worcester MA. To learn more about these free resources, please visit www.worcester-estate-planning.com/ today.
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