When you learn that a loved one has passed away, you are likely to go through a variety of emotions. Once you go through those, you might learn that you are the person who is going to have to make the final arrangements and deal with the person's estate. Being prepared for those responsibilities can help you know what you should and shouldn't do during that time. Our website has a list of things that people in Florida should and shouldn't do when a loved one passes away.
You probably know that you will have to make the final arrangements but when you do this, how you sign the forms is important. Make sure that you sign any forms for the funeral arrangements, such as the contract, as the personal representative. You should also make a call to the Social Security Administration at that time to determine if you have rights as a beneficiary for a one-time death benefit payment.
As you go through your loved one's things, you should find all important documents. This includes the will, checkbooks, deeds, insurance paperwork, income tax returns, titles and bills. Don't throw anything away until you are absolutely sure that you won't need it, which might require some professional assistance.
If you come across any real estate that is in Florida, you should make sure that vital bills get paid for those properties. As discussed on our website, you should keep the electricity paid so the air conditioner can help to keep the dwelling cool so mold won't overtake it during the hot summer months. Other services, like telephone, can usually be turned off.
Also, while you are dealing with paperwork, don't pay bills or cancel accounts right away. Bills and similar claims should go through the estate process so they are handled properly. Similarly, you should leave financial accounts like bank accounts alone until you have determined the best way to handle the accounts.
While nothing is going to help you to emotionally after the loss of a loved one, knowing how to handle specific situations might help you to react in a suitable way. Knowing these dos and don'ts might help you to feel prepared when the time comes.
Source: Law Offices of Craig F. Snyder, P.A., "Top Five Things You Should Do and Not Do When a Loved One Dies" Sep. 03, 2014