Sudden Death: What To Do When It Happens

last will and testament

People die every day and at any age. If a close loved one dies from an accident or a sickness, then you need to be able to handle their various legal and financial matters. There will be time for mourning, but there are some matters that should be dealt with immediately.

Here are some of the things that need to be done when someone dies:

Formal Declaration of Death

The very first thing you need to do is get a formal declaration of death. This is pretty important. Fortunately, if your loved one died in a hospital, then a doctor or medical professional will be there to declare their death. If they died somewhere else, though, such as your home, then you will need to have it confirmed by taking the deceased to the hospital.

Inform Everyone

If you were the only one there to witness the death, then you need to notify people of the person’s passing. Call the person’s relatives and family. You should also contact their workplace to advise them of the loss of their employee. A general notification of the death should also come out like an obituary in the local paper. You also need to send notice to various government agencies if they were claiming any benefits and the local utilities if they are not using them anymore.

Look For Important Papers

The deceased most likely had property and assets to consider. To make things easier, you should look for their important documentation. The most important of these is their last will. But other documents such as deeds of ownership, life insurance policies, bank statements, and more are just as important. You need to have a good idea of what the deceased owned so that they may be turned over to the court for probate purposes.

Make Funeral Plans

You will also need to make funeral plans for the deceased. Some people have already made plans for their death, so all you need to do is follow them. But for those with no plans, try to decide on what would be best for their memory. A simple service is the very least that you can do.

Read the Last Will

Reading the will is an essential part of the inheritance process. It decides where the deceased’s assets go. Without a will, you will need to fall back on to a probate court, which will divide the property according to state laws.

File a Life Insurance Claim

claims folder

If your loved had an insurance policy, you should immediately file a life insurance claim. An immediate claim is important since insurance companies can sometimes delay a bit when it comes to releasing the insurance benefits. An early filing can also tell you if you need help. Some insurance companies can contest your claim, which will force you to look around Los Angeles for an experienced life insurance lawyer.

When someone suddenly dies, it disrupts many lives. As their loved one, it is your job to ensure that no problems pop up because of their death. Besides dealing with all their legal obligations, you should be able to resolve their financial responsibilities, too. A clean slate is best so that you can be ready to move on with your life.

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