When a loved one passes away, it is a difficult time to try and figure out next steps, procedures, and prioritizing what needs to be done. A lot of questions will arise – some will need immediate attention and some can wait for a later date. Often, people reach out to get an Estate, Will, and Probate attorney to help guide them through the process, especially if they are the one left to handle everything. Even if you schedule a consultation, there are likely still things you will need to deal with in the meantime.
Things to Do After a Loved One Has Died | Advice from an Arvada Probate Attorney
1. Custody of Children: Hopefully, if your loved one left behind children, they will have made arrangements through their Will as to who should get custody. However, if this information is not provided in the Will, the Will is missing, or there is no Will in place, then decisions will need to be made about who will take care of the kids. If the person taking on this responsibility is not a legal parent, then paperwork will need to be prepared and signed to give guardianship. An experienced Arvada and Wheat Ridge probate and guardianship attorney can help with this process.
2. Mail: It’s easy to forget about the little things while you are in the process of planning a funeral and other matters, but don’t forget about collecting your deceased loved one’s mail. You can easily go online and have it forwarded to your address, or you can arrange for someone to regularly collect it. You don’t want it to just pile up, as that can be a sign that the house is empty, which can attract bad attention.
3. Protect the Valuables: There are various ways to make sure that your loved one’s home and valuables are protected while things are being sorted. The first is to make sure the home is taken care of. Continue to pay electricity and water bills, maintain law care and pay for the home security system so the house looks lived in and is protected. If you are the executor and want to remove valuables to put them in a safe place, make sure you let other family members know you are doing this so no one assumes the worse.
4. Cancel Services: If your loved one has a recurring monthly bill for services that are no longer necessary, cancel those memberships/accounts. Things like a gym membership, cell phone, tv or streaming service, newspaper, etc. should be cancelled.