It’s hard when somebody you care about dies. There are all these steps that you have to figure out while you’re grieving, especially if the death is going to trial as a wrongful death case. You’ll be dealing with attorneys, insurance companies, family members. It’ll be hard.
But we’re here to provide advice. There are some things that may require you to reach out to a wrongful death lawyer, or an estate lawyer. You may even contact a personal injury lawyer, depending on how your loved one passed. Regardless, we’ll give you some steps that may make it easier to deal with the after-effect of your loved one’s passing.
Funeral and Burial Arrangements
Sometimes the deceased give you specific instructions about how they want to be buried or how they want their funeral to be done. That’s great. Some people even prepay for their funeral or their plot of land, and that means all the funeral stuff is paid for in advance. But that isn’t always the case. However your loved one wishes to be buried and remembered, it’s up to you as the family member to ensure that happens—especially if nothing was paid for in advance.
Contact a Funeral Home
If things were not planned for you, then you have to reach out to a funeral home to ensure that everything is ready and taken care of. Typically funeral homes give you the death certificates—you may need three to five copies of the certificates for insurance and other agencies that you may deal with.
Contact Government Agencies
You’ll have to contact various government agencies about social security payments, and more. Knowing what agency to contact and in what time period to do so can save you hassle later, and ensure that any funds you should be receiving get to you in a timely fashion.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
You should reach out to friends and family—let them know their loved one has passed, tell them about the funeral arrangements, and bring them all together. A strong support system is the difference between wallowing alone in your pain, and finding closure and comfort.
Contact a Lawyer
If your loved one died as a result of a personal injury, negligence, or anything else that can have a lawsuit attached, reach out to a lawyer that deals in that sort of issue. They’re out there, and often they’re going to have expertise that can make the process of filing a suit easier for the family.
You’ll want to keep the will and trusts, as well as other probate documents. Some of these documents are:
- Prenuptial agreements
- Antenuptial agreements
- Life insurance policies
- Pension retirement benefits
- Marriage certificates
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Divorce papers
- Personal asset records
- Bank statements
- Account statements
- Stock certificates
- Loan documents
- Lease documents
- Medical insurance
- Unpaid bills
- Titles and deeds to property
There may not always be a will, and if there are a large amount of assets to probate, the court is going to help you to do that. They’ll be reaching out with an administrator who will go through everything with you.