It is inevitable that people in Pennsylvania will lose a loved one at some point in time during their lives. Knowing this will occur does not make it any easier when it actually does occur though. This can be a very emotional time as people move on without the loved one in their life. During this emotional and sad time, the loved ones often times are also tasked with taking care of the administrative tasks associated with the administration of the estate.
Many people’s estates need to go through the probate process. This is true even if people died with a valid Will. The Will states how people want their property distributed when they pass away, but the executor of the Will must actually go through the process of distributing it and making sure creditors are paid from the estate. This courts oversee this process through probate.
Steps to take after a loved one’s death
There are some steps that loved ones should take after people pass away to help ensure the probate process goes smoothly and hopefully quickly so people can simply focus on mourning and moving their lives forward.
- Obtain the death certificate, which will be needed for some of the other steps.
- Contact the loved one’s banks and financial institutions where accounts were held. Many accounts may have named beneficiaries and transfer of death deeds which allow proceeds to be distributed directly to the beneficiaries.
- Contact life insurance companies to inform them of the death so benefits are distributed.
- Contact Social Security and other government agencies
- Inform credit reporting agencies to ensure there is no fraudulent purchases made after the death.
- Start the probate process.
When people pass away in Pennsylvania it can be both an emotional and complicated time for the family. During their grieving process, they must handle the administration of the estate, which is not always an easy process. Experienced attorneys understand this process and may be able to help people through it so they can focus on the loss and moving on with life.