When someone dies and it’s a person you’ve grown to appreciate or love, it can be painful. The emotional toll it takes – and possibly has taken – is massive. However, as sad as it may sound, this is something that always happens. Life and death go hand in hand, so it’s natural that when someone dies, there is a period of grieving. With that said, while grieving over the one who was lost is painful, there are actions which must be taken when this happens – lest you want more trouble ahead. Darren Findling of The Probate Pro discusses five steps to take when someone dies.
As Darren explains, some of these steps may be obvious, but necessary to repeat. When someone dies at a hospice or hospital, proper personnel will be notified of the individual’s passing. When someone dies at home however, the situation is different. Be sure to call 911 and inform them of the individual’s passing. Emergency personnel will arrive, which includes the police who will evaluate the situation, as well as a coroner or medical examiner to examine the situation.
After this occurs, the next step is to provide notice of death. A notice of death is, as you would expect, a document which informs people that an individual has died. A notice of death can include: the full name (including maiden name or nickname), the date and location of death and details of the funeral service. There are other, optional pieces of information which can be included in the notice of death, but that is up to you. Optional information includes the cause of death and surviving family members. In addition, you may provide notice of death through more informal methods, such as a text or a phone call, or posting something on social media. Perhaps something that doesn’t get mentioned enough, but be sure to contact the deceased individual’s employer or employee, should he, she or they have been employed. There may be critical information that can help a family out in this rough time.
Once the notice of death has been issued, the following step will be to make funeral and burial arrangements. It may be found in an estate plan, trust or some other type of document that there’s a specific way in which they wish to be buried. It could be a standard burial, burial at sea or even cremation. If it’s found in an estate plan, trust, or will, the wishes must be followed.
With the funeral and burial arrangements made, the fourth step is to obtain death certificates. These can be obtained at the funeral home or the county. Having the death certificate is important, because the death is validated by the coroner. Possibly more important is that when dealing with financial institutions or organizations, they will want to know that the person who was a customer of theirs has passed away. That way, they can do whatever is proper and necessary on their end.
Finally, the last step to take when someone dies is to reach out to a confident, skilled probate attorney. Why? Because when it comes to these issues in probate, the common person won’t really know the complex issues that are ahead. When reaching out to us at The Probate Pro, we’re helping guide you in the right direction by going step-by-step in the probate administration process. We’re ready to help you – give us a call at (877) YOUR-FIRM and we can get started on helping you get in that right direction.