8 Tips to Manage an Estate During COVID-19
By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
Losing a loved one is never easy. But, it can be even harder when you’re facing all the trials and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of it. Below are 8 tips to manage an estate during COVID-19.
(1) Get Estate Planning Documents Together
If your loved one had any estate planning documents, be sure to gather them. The businesses, and Court, if necessary, will want to see the original Last Will and Testament and/or Trust. Be sure to get several copies of the death certificate to have on hand for life insurance, retirement, and other companies.
(2) Find Out What Assets They Have
Look through all statements your loved one has received in the mail. If your loved one has a place they keep important files, look there as well. Be sure to save any statements you receive.
(3) Call Advisors
Reach out to any of your loved one’s advisors you know of- think attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, bankers. These advisors will have information you need about your loved one’s assets and how to access them.
(4) Reach Out to a Probate Attorney
Most probate attorneys will give free or low cost consultations. Probate attorneys are familiar with the probate process and what does and does not need to go through the probate court process. We can help.
(5) File Necessary Documents
Due to the Coronavirus, many courts have limited operations. If you decide to move forward without an attorney, be sure to familiarize yourself with your court’s current pandemic procedures. In Oklahoma, you can find that information for your court online at www.oscn.net.
(6) File Necessary Taxes
Sometimes, you will have to file an estate tax return on your loved one’s estate. Often, you will need to file income taxes for your loved one for the year in which they died. Reach out to an accountant for help in filing.
(7) Secure Real and Personal Property
You will need to ensure that your loved one’s assets are safe. If your loved one owned a home, be sure the locks are secure and/or changed. Check on the home or have someone else check on it for you. Make sure you compile all information on bank and brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, etc.
(8) Liquidate Appropriate Assets
Some of your loved ones assets may not need to go through the probate process. If there are named beneficiaries, joint owners, payable on death beneficiaries, or the property is owned in a trust, you can transfer assets with a death certificate.
Many people will still need to access their loved one’s assets during this crisis. Maybe even now more than ever. Book with us for more info.