Surviving Loss: What to Do With an Estate After You Lose a Loved One


21 January 2019


parent dies

2.4 million funerals take place in the U.S. every year. If you’re not in the funeral business, this is a sobering thought.

When a parent dies, the grief and pain you are dealing with can often be compounded by financial pressures if you are named as their executor.

In a way, it is flattering to be named a parent’s executor. It means they trusted your intelligence, patience, and fairness enough to appoint you the overseer of their property after they are gone.

In other ways, it is overwhelming to consider the number of debts, unknown assets, and contentious relatives you will need to keep a record of.

If you are unsure what to do when a parent dies and you are the executor, take a deep breath, pick up a pen, and begin to approach your responsibilities in an organized, measured way.

What to Do When A Parent Dies and You Are the Executor:

Right after someone dies, there is usually a period of chaos. During this time, the estate needs to be opened, and the executor is appointed to avoid surprises by debt collectors or the IRS. You may have already been appointed the executor in a will.

No one should begin to take or distribute assets yet.

As the executor, it is your job to decide whether or not the will should go into probate, which is the official “proving” of the will in court. If the estate is larger, or if there is some disagreement about the will, probate may be necessary before you can begin carrying out your duties as the executor.

When you go through probate, you will have to file papers with the local probate court, prove that the will is valid, and present the court with a list of debts and assets. You should also explain how they should be distributed. The probate process could take anywhere from a few months to a year.

If your parent set up a living trust, you won’t have to go through probate. The person named as the trust’s successor will be able to distribute assets according to the will without having to go through the courts.

Your overall responsibility as the executor is to make sure that all debts and creditors of the deceased are paid off. Then the rest of their assets can be distributed according to their expressed wishes.

An executor is different from a power of attorney, who makes decisions about life-sustaining medical treatments while a loved one is still alive. Once they have passed, the power of attorney is no longer valid.

If there are any dependent children or pets, you will need to be certain that guardians are appointed in accordance with the decedent’s wishes. These are often complicated things to handle, you might want to enlist the services if an expert right away. Thomas Church, Florida Will Contest Attorney is one of the best Estate Litigation experts in USA.

Get the Right Paperwork:

Your first duty as the executor is to find your parent’s will. It could be filed away with important paperwork or in the hands of their attorney. It is usually necessary to file with a probate court, even if it is determined that probate is not necessary.

If there is a will in place, you will receive letters testamentary, which is a legal document authorizing you as the executor to take control over the decedent’s estate. If there is no will, you will receive letters of administration. You can then begin your work as an executor.

You should also be certain that a pronouncement of death has been filed. This is a letter filled out by a medical professional stating where and when the decedent died.

A death certificate should become available after the funeral. You can obtain it from your funeral home, county registrar, or health department. About 10-15 copies should be sufficient to cover your administration needs.

You will need the certificate to prove the situation to insurance, credit card, and mortgage companies. If you find you need more copies, they can be obtained from the Department of Vital Records.

It is important to begin keeping a list of assets and liabilities before liquidating assets, paying off debts, and distributing funds among beneficiaries.

Acquiring credit card statements, mortgage statements, vehicle registrations, a social security card, and copies of insurance policies will also make the process smoother.

You should be sure to punch a hole in the decedent’s driver’s license and passport to help prevent fraud.

Giles & Robinson, P.A. explains that an ancillary administration can take six to nine months to finalize.

Hire Some Help:

An estate attorney, like Verhaeghe Law, can help you avoid mistakes that could cost you money in the long run. A financial consultant can help with asset transfers. An insurance agent can assist with claims forms to help make sure beneficiaries are paid.

The costs of the funeral, as well as getting the decedent’s affairs in order, are taken from the estate. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to make sure the process goes smoothly and does not end up making you liable for problems that may arise.

Stop Payments:

The decedent’s estate is responsible for any debts that arise after death. Heirs and beneficiaries are not responsible, although some feel a sense of moral responsibility to pay them off.

You should notify all credit card companies, government agencies, utility companies, and mortgage banks of the death. This will help you to avoid late charges, and accounts will be transferred to decedent status. Doctors and other health professionals who may be owed fees should also be notified.

Check the decedent’s credit card statements and be certain to cancel any payments with “auto-renewal,” such as those for magazine subscriptions, AARP, AAA, and clubs. You may want to wait a month or two before closing the decedent’s primary credit card so that you can view the companies that need to be notified.

Be certain to contact the three main credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, immediately. They can flag the decedent’s account so no one will try to steal their identity. It is also a good idea to check back two months later to be certain no fraud has occurred.

You should be sure to notify Social Security so they will stop payments and you will not be responsible to pay back posthumous checks.

If your parent was employed at the time of their death, you will need to call their employer. You can find out about any payments due to them, death benefits, life insurance policies, and beneficiary benefits.

Pay Off Debts:

Keep a list of how much your parent owed to mortgage companies, credit card companies, car payments, etc. You may need to liquidate assets, such as selling houses or cars, to pay off these debts.

Check with a CPA to see if your decedent’s taxes have been paid. Money from the estate can be used to pay any money owed to the IRS.

You will also need to file taxes for your parent from the day of the year they passed until the date of death. If the estate is large, there may also be state or federal estate taxes to pay.

Consolidate Assets:

The executor should open a separate bank account for ongoing bills, as well as incoming checks. Keep valuables safe in a safety deposit box.

You should hire an assessor to see how much their property is worth. It is your duty as the executor to maintain the decedent’s property until it is sold or bequeathed to the proper beneficiary.

Distribute Assets and Maintain Healthy Communication:

After all known debts are paid, you can begin distributing remaining funds to the family as specified in the will. It is important to get and keep a signed receipt from each beneficiary after they are paid.

Many arguments and breakdowns during the asset distribution process happen because folks feel that they are being overlooked or marginalized. It is important to let them know what the timeline is so that they will know exactly what is being done with the funds and when they can expect to receive funds that are due them.

It is a good idea to take some time before making investments with estate funds, as grieving can be an emotionally overwhelming time for most.

Close the Estate:

You may be required to file a petition in court before distributing assets and closing the estate. As the executor, your duty is complete.

Take Care of Yourself:

Losing a parent can be one of the most confusing, disheartening times in an individual’s life. If you are overwhelmed by the complications of what to do when a parent dies and you are the executor, be sure to enlist the help of qualified professionals.

By keeping detailed records, liquidating assets, paying off debts, and distributing assets, you can be assured that your parent’s affairs have been handled properly and you can begin taking steps toward the next chapter in your life.

For more lifestyle advice, read our blog today.

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I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at Content Rally.

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The Importance Of Saving: The Bedrock of a Bright Financial Future

Personal finance goals cannot take off without first putting in place a savings plan. Many people know that it is important to have one and execute it, but for some reason, they still end up not saving. One must be deliberate about it and must also put together a concrete plan which when followed can lead to the achievement of their financial goals. Cost of living is high and there may be times where emergency funds are needed. It is important to note that the savings plan should not feel too constraining or draining. One must balance savings and discretionary funds. So how does one go about creating a savings plan? Here are some considerations: The Importance Of Saving: The Bedrock of a Bright Financial Future: 1. Start by setting a goal: Goals are a major motivating factor where money and saving is concerned. One must identify the end result of their savings. What is the money for? What does the person hope to achieve? This can be a dream holiday, saving for that down payment so one can finally purchase their own home, or even saving for when one retires. Or perhaps, one wishes to go for Lasik surgery and the cost of Lasik in Singapore is not cheap, so they will need time to prepare the funds. Setting a goal drives the saver and also encourages them when they have to delay gratification on other things because achieving the goal becomes the ultimate reward. 2. Separate funds: It is important that savings be put in an account separate from money for day to day expenses. If the money can be in a locked account, this is even better. Unfortunately, life has a way of smelling out “extra” funds, which means that a situation can easily arise which will cause the saver to dip into these funds. Having the money in an account that can’t easily be accessed is thus a great idea. 3. Track expenses and cut back: Personal finance includes tracking one’s expenses so that he or she can determine how they are spending their money, and how much can actually go into savings. Expenses generally fall into 3 categories. Fixed expenses. These include rent or mortgage, loan repayments, insurance premiums and the like. Variable expenses. These may include utility bills, cell phone bills, grocery shopping and the like. Discretionary expenses. Usually, these are expenses that mainly want and not needs. They include money for a cup of java, eating out, clothing, the gym and the like. It is good to make sure that one puts aside some discretionary money to use for enjoyment. Otherwise, a very stringent savings plan will prove impossible to execute and end up abandoned. Once all expenses have been tracked, one can identify areas where spending can be tightened to avail more money for saving. 4. Get rid of all temptation: It is amazing how temptations to spend can crop up out of nowhere. One must mitigate this risk to their savings by coming up with a plan to avoid any temptations. One of the best ways is to spend using cash only. That way, one knows just how much money has left their pocket and is able to limit their spending by stopping once their cash is finished. Of course, this means leaving the house with just the amount that one intends to spend. Another thing to do is to avoid aimlessly walking through shopping malls and to ensure that when going to the supermarket for groceries, they have a complete list that they do not deviate from unless they have carried money from their discretionary allowance. Finding hobbies that do not require spending lots of money can also go a long way in enabling one to save. 5. Make automatic transfer a friend: When it comes to personal finance, one has to execute its savings plan automatically where possible. This means that he or she can have a direct debit set up that pulls out the amount they want to save every month and deposits it in the designated savings account. This way, the saver will be saving first, and then spending based on what is left, instead of working up the willpower to put away money for savings from month to month. From there, it is about adapting to what is left and making sure that the person sticks to their budget. Getting started with saving is the most important thing because from there, one tends to gain the necessary momentum needed. One needs to ensure that the first savings goal is an emergency fund in which there is enough money to take care of 3 to 6 months expenses in the event that they lost their job. This money should be kept in an account where it earns good interest so that it is not lying idle. It is also important that the account be accessible should the need arise. Getting personal finance right is not difficult, but it definitely requires self-discipline. If one can get that right, he or she will be well on his or her way to financial freedom and a brighter future. Read Also: 5 Must-Have Long-Term Goals For A Secure Future How To Select The Best Investment Plan For Your Child?

Business Credit Report

Why Would I Need A Business Credit Report?

While individual credit reports assess the creditworthiness of consumers, a business credit report can show you how your business is creditworthy. In this post, I'll explain how Experian and similar services calculate a business loan and guide you through the process of developing it. A corporate credit report is similar to a personal credit report in that it contains information about the company's credit history, credit history, and other important information. However, each credit reference agency can be different in how it looks and what makes good business people. In many cases, the people who issue you loans will use your business credit report to decide whether you want to lend to you and, if so, how much credit you will grant to you. How to Apply and Get a Business Credit Report? If you want to get a business credit report directly from the source, you can go to Experian or Equifax, two of the largest credit reporting agencies in the US. You can purchase a single report including your business and credit ratings for $49.95 from Experian's, which has the business Credit report for both companies. To get a report on Equifax corporate loans, you must visit its website and buy the individual reports for $99 to $95. Get registered as a member of your Business Credit Reporting Program (BCP). While the amount you pay will depend on the plan you choose, Experian lets you check your credit rating and credit rating for free. If the big agencies don't have a credit report for your business, you'll have to check it with one of the other big credit reference agencies, such as Equifax or Experian's. You should review the business credit report at least once a year from all three major companies - credit bureaus. Even if your Business Credit Report Program (BCP) is working, your Business Credit Program may not be set up if you do not have the credit reports. Similar to Experian's report, Equifax's business credit report will be correct, but it will give you your true score. Similar to the Experian's report, the Equifax report, and the Experian's annual report, both will be true values and represent the true credit standing of your company, not just the credit standing of the company you work for. And, much like testimonials, Equifax business reports and testimonials will be correct, and both will give you true scores. You don't have access to Equifax's business credit report and Experian's free version of the annual report, but if you do, you'll be doing a lot more than the Experian's report, and even better than the annual report. Is Getting Access to a Business Credit Report Easy? Getting access to a business credit report is not as easy as getting your personal credit reports, but it's worth it nonetheless. Just as you can get personal credit reporting free of charge, so can corporate credit reporting. The corporate credit reports are the data that credit agencies have to work with, not just the annual report and the personal report. Business credit ratings are based on the information in your business credit report and measure the creditworthiness of your company. While most credit bureaus give you a single score of 1a100, the Equifax corporate credit report provides a variety of different scores, such as 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. It has the added advantage of providing more information than what you get from any of the other credit institutions, and it provides more data than most of their personal credit reports. Equifax, like the other credit reporting agencies, uses data from the US Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to produce its credit report. Like your personal credit score, your business credit report gives you an idea of how your business is, and it can also be created by the same credit institution that offers you a personal credit report score. Equifax provides a website where you can check your credit rating and other information such as income, employment history, tax returns, and other personal information. What are some Important Details you should cross-check on the Credit Report? Before you receive your business credit report, it is important that you review all of this information in detail, including your name, address, telephone number, email address, and other personal information. It gives you a set of tools that will help you learn how to create business loans, as well as access information about your credit history and creditworthiness. The reason you want an Equifax business credit report is the same as the reason you want it: to gain a better understanding of your company's financial health. It will help you understand and improve the credit standing of the company, which is as important to the financial health of a company as it is to its financial performance. Another provider on the market is Reporting Accounts, they offer free and paid reports which is a good way to get some initial free information before deciding if you want to dig deeper into a company’s financial position. Read Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost your Credit Score 7 TIPS TO REDUCE CREDIT CARD BILLS


How to Buy, Sell and Trade EOS Coin

In layman’s term, EOS happens to be one popular contrarian play, designed for crypto investors. It is perfect for those who are betting right on the long-term value. Some traders might compare the functions of EOS with that of Ethereum and even note the discrepancies in market cap. When comparing these two options, you will realize that EOS is here to offer better growth opportunities. Ways to buy EOS: There are four simple steps, which will help you to beli eos with ease. Make sure to go through the steps in detail and understand their points before making the final call on it. At first, you need to find information on an EOS wallet, which you are planning to use. You need a proper place where you are likely to put them. So, make sure to find the best one in turn and there are so many options available lately. Once you have come across the best EOS wallet, it is time to start working with the exchange. You need to find one that works with EOS that you can easily purchase it. Now, the time has come when you need to put money into your current account. Funding your EOS account is very important and you need to be very careful regarding the moves to take. For the last step, you have to make your necessary purchase. Read more to find out about the exchange and even all the possible wallet recommendations. You need to find the pros and cons of purchasing EOS before making a move. Best ways to sell EOS: If you are on the other side of the coin and planning to sell EOS, then there are some simple steps for you to follow as well. At first, you need to sign up at the given altcoin exchange and start funding your account with EOS. You can even try to load EOS into Bitcoin ATM, if the need arises, which help you to cash out faster. Now, you can sell EOS for Ethereum or Bitcoin, whichever platform you prefer the most. These two are the most widely accepted platforms for cryptocurrencies. It becomes a lot easier for you to access these sources for higher liquidity and volume. For the next step, you have to transfer the Ethereum or Bitcoin to the main wallet after you have signed up and verified your usable account. Just click on the “funding” option available online and then follow instructions for Ethereum or Bitcoin, whichever one you are planning to fund with EOS. Now, you can easily sell your Bitcoin for fiat currency, like Canadian dollar or Euro using some quick trading options. It just takes few clicks for you to sell the crypt currency with ease. When you are done transacting, you can withdraw Euro or the Canadian dollar amount to your back account directly through the EOS wallet you have chosen. The “Withdraw” option is available online as well. Just click on it and then follow the given instructions to find the best result. Ways you can trade EOS: In this current market, there are practically two options while trading in the cryptocurrency market. You can either purchase actual cryptocurrency on exchange like purchasing EOS on exchange like Binance to own EOS on your own. Or, you can try to trade a contract for difference or CFD on any particular cyptocurrency and start working on the price difference. CFD is one proven financial instruction, which works more like a contract between broker and investor. If you want, you can hold the long term position or the short term one. It is mostly considered as short-term investment as CFDs are widely used within a shorter time zone. So, for trading EOS CFDs, you need to speculate on the USD or EOS pairing. Get the experts for help: You need professionals to help you explore the world of EOS and help you to trade, buy and sell the EOS coin according to your will. Make sure to learn about this platform and then shift your gaze towards the perfect EOS wallet to choose from. The result will always work out for you. Read Also: Bitcoin Profit Review 2019 How To Make Money From Bitcoins In 2020 The Basic Principles of Blockchain Fund Administration and E-Wallet The Profit Revolution: The Best Bitcoin Trading And Investing Platform