Can there be a more devastating and confusing time than when a loved one dies?   What should you do? How quickly should you do it? Call Attorney Evelyn Zawatsky. She has prepared a helpful list of actions you will need to take -- some immediately, some later on, and some with legal guidance. She is ready to help through the process.

Consider donation of body organs and tissue.

Contact place of worship.

Contact funeral home.

Determine whether decedent had a safe deposit box.

Determine whether decedent left a will.

Phone the Social Security office and notify them of the death.

Ascertain the decedent’s assets and liabilities, including the following:

real estate, household goods, furniture and personal belongings, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, retirement funds, business interests, bank accounts, and debts and liabilities, including monthly bills and invoices that come in the mail after a death.

Keep records of all payments for funeral and expenses for last illness and retain receipts.

Investigate other benefits that may be available to this estate, including insurance policies, social security benefits, union death benefits, veteran’s benefits, and employee benefits, such as accrued vacation pay, final wages, employee death benefits, reimbursements, refunds on insurance or cancelled subscriptions.

Obtain death certificate.

Then, there is the matter of probate, which may or may not be necessary.   Legal assistance can be very helpful with probate in order to transfer the decedent’s assets to the persons named in the Will or trust, or the decedent’s legal heirs.

A call to Attorney Evelyn Zawatsky upon the death of a loved one is an important first step in guiding you through this trying time.

What to Do When Someone Passes Away