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How To Handle Your Loved One’s Affairs When They Die



How To Handle Your Loved One’s Affairs When They Die

At Faith and Hope Hospice and Palliative Care Center in Los Angeles, we understand that it isn’t easy to handle the affairs of your loved ones after they have passed away. It is a gargantuan responsibility that lies on your shoulders. For that reason, the professionals at hospice Pasadena and hospice Los Angeles are here to help you. That way, you can get through all the red tape regarding the personal, financial, and legal details entailed, which are usually very laborious, time-consuming, and stressful, that you will probably have to deal with as you grieve the loss of the person you love. 


These matters are not something you have to manage alone, and it’s not something you have to do all at once. It is advisable to break it down into parts with the help of the palliative care staff of Faith and Hope in Los Angeles. 


How To Handle Your Loved One’s Affairs In The First Few Days


It is absolutely impossible to think about the affairs of a loved one who has just passed away. As the palliative care professionals in Los Angeles explain, you will be so devastated and overwhelmed to think clearly. What you can do is concentrate on the immediate practical decisions that have to be made. 


Make notifications. 


Let friends and family know that their loved one has departed. This is a task that you could hand over to others who were close to your loved one. If your loved one was still employed, let their employer know. You should make things clear about their benefits plan and final paycheck and ask if they provide life insurance to their employees. If your loved one was a veteran or a member of a community or religious group, contact the organization to notify them of your loved one’s passing. They could have burial benefits available. 


Take care of any pets. 


If your loved one had any pets, you are responsible for them until you have made a permanent plan for their future. You could ask a friend or relative who loves pets to keep the animal(s) for a couple of days. If that isn’t possible, you could try to board them at a kennel or local veterinarian’s office. 


Make service arrangements. 


If your loved one didn’t leave you any specific instructions, check out their home for any details on what he or she may have wanted for their funeral. They may have left a letter or information on a prepaid burial plan. If this information is not accessible, you will have to decide whether to go ahead with a funeral, burial, or cremation service for your loved one. A funeral home can assist you with all the details. It may be even possible to entrust some of the service details to friends and family. They can help write the obituary, gather photos for display, select readings, or give a eulogy. Also, they can help select the pallbearers. 


Close up their property. 


If your loved one lived alone, you should make it a point to throw away any perishable food items and look out for any plants that need care. Any valuables in the home should be locked in a secure location. Plus, the home and any vehicles should be locked. Get their mail forwarded to your home so it doesn’t accumulate at the house.


How To Handle Affairs In The Weeks After A Loved One’s Death 


After you have made the immediate practical decisions in the first few days, you will have to create a plan to focus on the legal, financial, and bureaucratic details and paperwork.


Get copies of your loved one’s death certificate. 


It may come in handy to obtain at least ten certified copies of the death certificate to register the death with the government, close bank accounts, and file life insurance claims. If you are dealing with a funeral home, they can get copies on your behalf. You can also ask for them directly from the state’s vital records office. 


Find your loved one’s will. 


If you haven’t got a clue where your loved one kept their will, take a look around their home, desk, and safety deposit box. The will should have the name of the executor. You should take the will to your city or county probate court office so it can be executed. If they didn’t leave a will, the city or county probate court would go through intestate succession laws to figure out who will inherit.


Make a list of your loved one’s assets. 


This consists of personal property, home, car, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, furniture, and jewelry. It may be a good idea to get someone who can appraise some of these items. Go through the paperwork to make certain all assets have been accounted for. You should keep your eyes open for deeds, titles, tax returns, mail, email, bank, and brokerage accounts.


Make a list of ongoing expenses. 


You should make a list of bills and address them. The executor has to ensure that the mortgage, utilities, and taxes are taken care of until the estate is settled. Other services such as television, internet, phone, and streaming services can be canceled. Credit card accounts should be closed, and home, auto, and health insurance policies should be terminated.


Work with an accountant. 


If your loved one had an accountant, you should get in touch with them. If not, you should think about hiring one. A final tax return will have to be filed for your loved one, and the estate will probably have to file a tax return. An accountant can assist you through this process. 


Make a plan for email and social media accounts. 


Some individuals prefer to keep their loved one’s social media accounts active in their memory. Facebook has a feature that lets love ones memorialize their account, which allows the profile to stay up, but limits access to the account. However, it is best to close email accounts to prevent identity theft. 


Managing your loved one’s affairs after death is a huge responsibility, but many consider it an honor to fulfill their loved one’s final wishes. Do your best to take care of yourself while you take care of all the estate details.


For more information on how Faith and Hope Hospice and Palliative Care can support patients and their families at the end of life, visit our website or give us a call at (888) 760-9641.


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