8 Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies
By Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
Losing someone we love is one of the hardest things we can face. Not only are we sad and grieving, but we may also be responsible for wrapping up that loved one’s affairs.
Dealing with grief is hard enough. Trying to navigate the aftermath of a loved one’s death can cause even more confusion and stress. Today we give you a list of the steps to take after a loved one dies to help so you know what to do during this difficult struggle. Here are 8 steps to take when a loved one dies.
(1) Make a List
Write down everything you need to accomplish. When you are stressed and sad, your mind can play trick on you. You may think you did something you didn’t or haven’t done something you did. Having a checklist allows you to check off each item you need to do once you complete that item.
Keeping your tasks organized will make your life much easier and save you a lot of unnecessary time and stress.
(2) Figure Out What They Have
You need to search for statements for bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, credit cards, and utilities. Also, be sure to write down a list of any real estate they own.
Additionally, you need to try to locate any estate planning documents they may have. Did your loved one have a Will or Trust? Do they have a safety deposit box? Often, those who have safety deposit boxes will put their important documents inside. In Oklahoma, you can access the box for the purposes of finding an estate plan as long as a banking officer is present and you are an adult heir.
(3) Decide Who Will Be The Executor
The Executor is the person who manages the estate. If you are able to find an estate plan, the document will name the Executor of the estate. If you do not find an estate plan, any adult can open a probate case on behalf of the estate.
However, there is a list of preferred Executors by order of preference in Oklahoma law. This simply means if more than one person wants to manage the estate, the one listed higher on the list of preferences in the statute will be given priority.
(4) Get Death Certificates
Every place you go will want a death certificate. Get several certified copies so that you have enough.
(5) Reach Out to Professionals
You will need to work with several professionals to get everything in order after a loved one passes away. Reach out to a trusted accountant, financial advisor, banker, and attorney to help you handle all of the estate’s matters.
Book an appointment online with us if you need help deciding if you need a probate.
(6) Check in With Yourself and Your Family
Grief is heavy. Check in with yourself and your family to make sure that everyone is doing okay. If you or someone you love isn’t handling their grief well, reach out to someone who can help.
(7) Don’t Make Big Decisions
Grief affects our minds and how they work. Don’t make big life decisions while you’re grieving. Hold off on buying a new home, car, or making an investment for about a year to make sure it’s really what you want to do and you have thought it through.
(8) Follow Your Loved One’s Wishes
The best way to honor your loved one is to respect their wishes. If they have a document that sets out who they want to get what, honor those documents and your loved one’s wishes.