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How to Financially Cope with the Death of a Loved One

Losing a loved one isn’t an event a person gets over right away. The process of mourning can take months to years, even. Despite this though, a deceased individual’s closed relations should act fast regarding their finances and other affairs. Not doing so can lead to certain problems arising, which might further complicate one’s grieving. Here are the immediate steps people should take once a loved one passes away.

Starting Right Away

woodsy007/Deposit Photos — Don’t wait more than a month or two after the death of a loved one before managing the financial matters they left behind

The first thing the family should determine is who would be the one to manage the deceased estate. Figuring out who’s in charge might be difficult especially when the individual didn’t assign a trustee or executor of their estate before they passed away.

In this case, the closest person to the dead should be the one to fill the position. This may also mean choosing a family member who is physically closest to where the deceased lived to make court matters and the like easier to deal with.

Once this has been settled, that individual should start working on sifting through the assets and liabilities a relative or spouse has left behind.

Get a Lot of Death Certificates

The executor is advised to get at least a dozen copies of the person’s death certificate as they would need it in various matters.

This document would have to be presented to various institutions from phone service providers to banks. Memorializing the dead person’s Facebook page might also need a copy of the certificate.

Securing Physical Possessions

xload/Deposit Photos — Consider changing the locks to the house as a precaution from break-ins

Next, the executor should secure the deceased physical possessions beginning with the house they lived in. Visit the home and make sure that everything is in order, especially if they left behind pets that need tending.

Depending on where they live, the deceased’s home may be also used by squatters or burglarized so securing the place right away is a must. One should also take an inventory of the contents of the residence to ensure nothing is missing. Meanwhile, executors are also advised to evict tenants or other housemates if the dead person had one.

Notify the Necessary Creditors

tangducminh/Deposit Photos — Prevent financial fraud by securing the deceased’s cards and Social Security number

Of course, there’s also the matter of contacting various entities like the Social Security Administration, credit providers, and insurance companies.

It’s important to inform these institutions that the person has already died, especially if they are receiving benefits or a pension. Cancel credit cards right away as fraudsters may use the deceased’s cards once they see the death notice published.

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