12 Things You Need to Do When a Loved One Dies

This checklist is intended to outline several basic steps you can take prior to meeting with an attorney. This checklist is not exhaustive and should not be substituted for proper legal advice from an experienced probate attorney. 1. Funeral Arrangements. Make funeral arrangements; request certified death certificates from funeral provider. 2. Estate Planning Documents. Locate estate planning documents (Will, Codicils, Trust, Trust Amendments).

3. Keys. Locate keys for home, automobiles, safe deposit boxes and post office boxes. 4. Home and Contents. Secure home and all contents. Arrange for someone to safeguard home during funeral, if necessary. 5. Social Security. Notify Social Security Administration and investigate survivor’s benefits.

6. Employment Benefits. Contact decedent’s employer regarding unpaid wages and potential death benefits.

7. Stop health insurance. Notify the health insurance company or the deceased's employer. End coverage for the deceased, but be sure coverage for any dependents continues if needed.

8. Make a list of all bills including mortgage payments. Bring this list to the appointment with your attorney. 9. Ownership Documentation. Find deeds, titles, bank statements. Make a list of all assets and how they are owned (i.e. real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investment accounts, etc.).

10. Electronic Data. Take possession of all electronic devices: computers, cell phones, tablets, etc.

11. Life Insurance. Locate information regarding life insurance policies.

12. Call Fitzwater Law at 503.786.8191 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.



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