Sometimes life throws us a major curve ball and we are faced with the loss of a loved one to an unfortunate accident. It happens, and it’s something none of us are every prepared for.
There are a lot of emotions, sadness, questions, and even anger.
No matter what happens, though – life goes on and there are things that need to be addressed and handled. Unfortunately the world doesn’t press pause. Some things need immediate attention as well.
It will never be easy, that is for sure. But there are some things you will need to do. Sometimes you have to block out the pain and questions – push them aside to deal with the situation.
Contact All Creditors
The creditors are not going to know when someone passes away – not right away at least. It’s business as usual for them, and if a payment is missed they will just assume the account is going delinquent.
They have millions of accounts. You need to contact them and alert them to what is happening so the accounts may be closed off and arrangements to settle the accounts can be made. Things like mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards need to be the main focus. Also, cell phone companies, utility providers, etc.
Determine What to Do with the Estate
There are a lot of things to consider when dealing with the estate of someone that has passed away. Is there a mortgage on the property? Are there back property taxes owed? Are there other owners on the deed?
You will want to work all of this out with the lien holder if there is one, the family lawyer, as well as whomever is handling the will.
Speak to a Lawyer
You are going to want to speak to an attorney to handle several different things, from the property to the will, etc. But if the loss is due to an accident there might be some other courses of legal action to pursue.
While it’s a very touchy subject, some accidents warrant you speaking to a wrongful death lawyer. There could be potential lawsuits to file or other parties to go after, financially, to cover certain situations. Every situation is different, but it’s always a good idea to know your rights as well as the options available to you.
Find Suitable Living Situations for Children
What happens if the person that passed away has young children? What happens to them? This is something that needs to be coordinated with your state’s child services department as well as other family members.
The will should also be referenced in the event someone or a certain family is designated as the caregiver and provider for the children.
Address the Will
The will also needs to be handled. The sooner this can be done the better. Sometimes families will argue and bicker about the financial elements of a will. It’s sad but true.
The will often holds the answers to many questions, so the sooner it can be located the better.
- Hugo Lavalle is a retired art dealer turned online marketplace flipper. He is also a freelance writer and journalist. His grandchildren keep him active.