Important Estate Planning Steps to Take after a Parent’s Death

Losing a parent is not easy. While being prepared for the event might not make the emotional aspect any easier, it can help to eliminate the potential for additional problems. As a result, this article reviews some of the important financial steps that you can take after a parent passes away.


# 1 – Determine if Your Parents Had an Estate Plan


The position of managing a parent’s estate after their death can be made much easier if a parent had an estate plan. Ideally, a parent will organize all of their estate documents in an easy to find but secured location. The best estate plans include wills that address how assets should be handled, dispositions of last remains regarding how a parent’s remains should be disposed of, and several other documents. 


If a parent dies without these documents, it often becomes critical to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer. If parents want to avoid the undue cost, time, and complications for their children, they will make sure to have an estate plan in place before passing away.


# 2 – Gather the Necessary Estate Planning Documents


If a parent dies without the necessary paperwork in an organized place, you will be required to locate the parent’s birth, marriage, and death certificate. In most situations, you will also be required to obtain copies of the parent’s social security card, tax returns, and financial records. This process can be challenging but is a necessary step to make sure that you are prepared for what lies ahead.


# 3 – Obtain a Death Certificate


A death certificate is necessary for many parts of managing matters after a parent dies. This government-issued document must be signed by a medical professional and establish how the death occurred. The exact regulations with which a death certificate must comply depend on the state. By obtaining a copy of a death certificate as soon as possible, you can make the management of a parent’s affairs as easy as possible. 


# 4 – Handle Life Insurance Issues


Many disputes that can arise with insurance companies, which is why it is important to plan and reduce the risks of potential disagreements as much as possible. In many cases, as long as a death certificate is provided and you are a qualified life insurance recipient, a check will be mailed to the beneficiary. 


# 5 – Interact with the Necessary Government Organizations


Government agencies that are responsible for distributing benefits to a deceased loved one like the Social Security Administration must be informed that a loved one has passed away as soon as possible. 


If a parent is a veteran, you will likely also be required to interact with matters with the Veteran’s Administration.


Speak with a New York Estate Planning Lawyer

Several challenges that can arise after a parent dies. If you need the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer, consider contacting Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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