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Planning Through the Sorrow of Losing a Loved One

Facing up to the death of a relative or a close friend is never easy; the saddest part about it is, we will all have to face it one way or another, but that is just life, and we may never really understand why that is the design. We understand that this is not a pleasant nor interesting subject, but we find it imperative to, at the very least, understand what steps to take if ever we find ourselves in this situation. Our Pittsburgh car service specialists have compiled a list of some helpful pointers you can use as guidelines on handling the passing of a loved one.

Process the Death Certificate

The very first thing you should do is to process their death certificate. We recommend obtaining several copies at a time because you will probably have to leave a copy at most relevant institutions you will be visiting later on to conclude your loved one’s business. Some institutions accept photocopies and scanned copies, but most will demand an original copy. Most funeral homes are able to conduct this process for you, so inquire at the funeral home of your choice before going to the vital statistics office.

Verify the Will

The next step is to probate the deceased’s will if they had one. The will will have identified an executor who is to carry out his last wishes and redistribution of property. However, if the deceased died intestate (with no will), the state should be able to point out an individual who is able to act in that capacity. In the likely case that you are named an executor, you should obtain a document stating that you are legally authorized to handle the deceased’s financial and proprietary affairs. At this stage, we would like to recommend hiring an estate lawyer to guide you through the probate process.

Notify Relevant Government Agencies

This is for the purpose of ending benefits or initiating any benefits due to the dependents, for example, the death benefit allowance issued by social security administration to the spouse and children of the deceased. Further, survivor benefits are granted to disabled children and those below the age of 16 as well as to spouses who have been married for over 10 years. That goes for ex-spouses who had been married to the deceased for over 10 years.

Inform Financial Institutions

Once you have obtained the death certificates and a document from the state recognizing you as the executor, follow up on all financial ties the deceased may have had. For example, insurance companies, including individual policies, employer-sponsored policies, policies by association, and mortgage cancellation plans. Some of these policies may provide additional benefits to the deceased’s dependents depending on the circumstances surrounding their death. You also need to contact credit companies and banks in order to redistribute the finances to the beneficiaries.

Posted on Mar 19 2019

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