Protecting Yourself and Your Loved One’s Estate After They Die
When a loved one passes away, you may be overcome with grief and loss. While taking the time you need to mourn the loss of a parent or relative is important, your actions in the days and weeks after their death can make the process of settling their estate much easier or much more difficult. Some of the most important tasks in the aftermath of a loved one’s death include:
- Locating their will. You will need your relative’s will to begin the probate process and divide their assets. The will may be stored in their home, at a bank or in the care of their attorney. The will typically names an executor who will be responsible for settling the estate, so it’s important to find this information as quickly as possible.
- Locating bank account and credit card information. Accessing bank and credit card accounts is essential to protecting yourself and your parent’s estate. Creditors have been known to pursue payment directly from relatives of the deceased instead of collecting from the estate during the probate process. The more information you have about the decedent’s debts, the better equipped you will be to protect yourself.
- Gaining access to accounts and safety deposit boxes. When someone passes away, their family needs to be able to deal with utility companies, cellphone providers and banks. They also need access to safety deposit boxes, since those boxes may contain a will or valuable assets.
- Gaining access to your loved one’s home. Sometimes even getting into a parent’s home can be a challenge, but it’s an essential step in locating a will, account information and valuables. It’s a good idea to have your parent give a copy of his or her keys to a trusted friend, relative, or attorney living nearby.
An experienced Florida probate attorney can assist you in all of these tasks and guide you through the probate process. For legal assistance and practical advice after the death of a loved one, contact a skilled Florida probate attorney at the Charles Law Offices today.