How to Handle Family Finances After the Death of a Loved One

Friday, July 17, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

The weeks or even months following the death of a close friend or relative are difficult.

Many people are overwhelmed with feelings of anger, grief, sadness, regret, and other emotions.

Although these emotions are swirling around in your life, you still have to get up and move on.

The hardest part is handling finances, but these steps will make it easier for you.

How to Handle Family Finances After the Death of a Loved One

  1. Get Organized

    Even if you have always been managing family finances, this period might be more robust for you. There are so many financial issues to deliberate after the passing of your loved one. Although some of the tasks aren’t urgent and can be put off for a while, others require immediate attention.

    Consider getting organized first. You should find relevant paperwork and records you require to apply for benefits. Proceed to set up systems to arrange the documents and other data you receive.

  2. Acquire A Legal Pronouncement Of Death

    If the person died in a hospital where a doctor was present, the staff members should register the death. They will issue an official declaration of death, which is the initial step of getting a death certificate.

    In case the person passed on while at home, you need to find a medical expert to declare them dead. Call 911 right away and request your relative to be transported to an emergency room, where a medic can declare them dead and take them to a funeral home. If your relative died under hospice care, the nurse could declare them dead. If you don’t have a declaration of death, you can’t arrange for a funeral or manage legal affairs.

  3. Start The Probate Process

    If your loved one signed a will, you should file it in the probate court. It would help if you located the executor, who is usually named in the will. The executor is tasked with handling the assets your loved one left behind and helping to implement the decree. Hire a probate attorney in your area, for example if you live in Houston you should search for a probate attorney in Houston to guide you through this process.

    If there isn’t any will, the court will select an administrator to help manage the estate. The administrator will decide who gets what. Having a probate lawyer ensures fairness in the distribution of wealth.

  4. Avoid Making Emotional Decisions

    Now is the worst time of rushing into anything, especially significant decisions. Grief is challenging to deal with, which is why many people end up doing things they wouldn’t have done under different situations. If you allow emotional stress to guide you in making decisions, you might regret later.

    Don’t be in a hurry to move out of the house or relocate to another time. You can do this later, especially if you want to get rid of the deceased’s memories, probably a few months later. Also, avoid making substantial investment decisions. Unscrupulous salespeople might target you since you are vulnerable, so avoid them too.

  5. Determine Short-Term Income And Expenditures

    You might be required to clear some expenses immediately after your loved one passes away. They include transportation expenses, funeral costs, and regular bills. List the debts you should pay within a month. Find out if you have sufficient resources to pay these debts.

    If you don’t have enough money, don’t worry because you will get some from estate settlement or insurance proceeds. For now, use credit cards to clear what you can. You may even take a cash advance against the card if necessary. If you opt to use credit cards, go for the ones with low-interest rates.

  6. Consider Investing

    Your financial priority after the death of your family member is not to invest, but to ensure you have enough to keep you moving. However, eventually, you will settle and start working on your financial objectives. At that point, investing the money becomes inevitable.

    When considering investment options, find ways of conserving your principal amount. Avoid the temptation of using it or leaving it in the bank to wear away from the effects of inflation. A financial investor can help you find appropriate management techniques.

The work of handling finances while dealing with the passing on of a loved one is difficult. You need some help to get it done. Engage your friends, a probate lawyer, and a financial advisor.

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