Estate Planning

7 Important Things to Do When a Loved One Dies

Signing Estate Planning Documents

We’re in trying times with the pandemic, and the most unfortunate thing that some people have to deal with is the loss of a loved one. There are things that you should be aware of that need to be done after someone passes.

Steps to consider:

1. Contact the Social Security Administration and stop any Social Security payments. This is especially true if they’re being directly deposited. You’ll also need to contact the pension administrator if there is one. In some cases, the pension will continue for another family member.

2. The next thing to look into is liabilities. If there are credit cards and loans, make sure that those accounts are frozen so that no one can fraudulently get into those accounts.

3. See if anyone has a joint bank account with the deceased so that you can have access to funds in the event that you need money for anything, such as funeral arrangements.

4. You should be checking the deceased’s mail. If you’re named as executor in their will, you may consider putting in a mail forwarding order because sometimes it’s difficult to be able to go to the deceased’s home to check on their mail on a regular basis. Instead, you can have it forwarded to yourself or a new PO box so that you can keep an eye on things.

5. Look to see if the deceased had estate planning documents like a last will and testament, a trust, or other documents. At the very least, locate those things and make sure that they’re accessible.

6. Try to locate insurance policies of all different types. If there’s a home or multiple homes, you want to make sure that there’s Insurance in effect on those places. Also, look for life insurance policies. If there aren’t any liquid funds available, you may be able to work with the funeral director to assign a portion of the life insurance proceeds to the funeral home to pay for their services.

7. Please call us because you are likely to have questions about all of the above. We can help you navigate through this time period and answer your questions.

Of course, if there are legal documents, you should have them reviewed. Sometimes I look at things and I can tell right away that nothing needs to be done. Sometimes the deceased had accounts and assets that were held jointly with someone else and there’s no need for any legal work. We’re not here to create legal work. We’re here to give you sound advice for you to get through this process. 

Please give us a call so we can help you. 

James Leonick

James F. Leonick
Leonick Law, P.L.L.C.
TEL: (631) 486-9500


Subscribe to our newsletter