Things To Take Care Of After A Loved One’s Death
You will undoubtedly be shocked and grieving after a loved one’s death. The last thing you might be thinking about is all the practical things that need to be taken care of, such as bills, property, social media, and death and insurance benefits from social security.
We’ve put together this article to help you focus on the things to do after a death of a loved one. We are the legal experts of Bachus & Schanker, personal injury lawyers here to help you in your time of need.
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Table Of Contents
1. Who will manage the bills?
The remaining bills are one of the first things you’ll need to go through and organize. Who will pay and manage your loved one’s bills? Know that you are not obligated to pay their bills even if you are named a beneficiary in their will. Instead, you will need to provide each creditor with a copy of the death certificate.
It’s not required to provide your name and contact information. Just include a simple note stating that the person has passed away. You might think you need to discuss a payment plan with the creditor, but that is not necessary at this time. Your only task should be to inform the creditor of the passing. It’s up to the creditor to make a claim against the estate.
2. Who will manage the property?
If your loved one has left a home (property) with a remaining mortgage attached, you can inform the mortgage company of the passing by sending a copy of the death certificate. They will start the process of transferring ownership of the property to the remaining named joint owner. If there is no joint owner, you must go through probate court to start the transfer proceedings. If there is a trust, they will transfer the property through the trust.
Personal possessions and belonging
Another form of property would be the physical possessions of the loved one. Items such as clothing, automobiles, etc., will need to be handled accordingly. If your relative had financed a vehicle, it would be up to the financial institution to file a claim against the estate. You can provide a copy of the death certificate and let them know you are in the process of contacting creditors but not agreeing to make payments. If there is no need to divide clothing and other personal items among family members, these items could be donated to a local charity or shelter.
The intestate succession laws vary from state to state. Attorney Kyle Bachus has a book called Unthinkable that covers this and other essential topics on what to do after a loved one’s death. Sign up to receive the first chapter free.
3. Who will address the social media accounts?
First, determine any social media platforms with which your loved one may have had accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Check to see if these accounts are logged in or logged out. Don’t log out of the account if you discover it’s still logged in. Keep it open, as it’s a complicated process to obtain a password to the account, even if you provide a death certificate.
If you have access to the accounts, you can choose to delete them; however, consider how many friends need to be informed of the passing. Your loved one may have shared photos and memories that could comfort those who knew the person. For this reason, you can consider memorializing the account, which will notify the followers of your loved one’s death and keep the account open.
Facebook, for example, will allow followers to comment on the notification post, but there would be no further activity on the account. It’s best to check the rules of each platform on what to do with a social media account after the passing of a relative.
In Kyle Bachus’ book, “Unthinkable,” he covers in appendix 5 what to do with social media accounts. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
4. Who will contact the Social Security administration?
The SSA will be able to determine which relatives are eligible to receive social security survivor’s benefits. Generally, the benefits apply to a spouse, dependent children, and sometimes an ex-spouse. After your relative’s passing, you or a family member would need to call the social security administration to inform them of the death.
Other institutions to contact will be if there is an employer, life insurance policy, annuity, pension, or 401k. Each will have rules and regulations to follow regarding how survivor benefits apply. We can help you figure it out.
Find out if it was a wrongful death
It can be challenging to manage all of these practical financial matters. But it can become even more complicated if there is an issue of wrongful death. Depending on the circumstances of death, you can contact the best wrongful death attorney in the state of Colorado to find out if you have a claim for a potential wrongful death lawsuit. Our confidential consultation is free of charge.
Support Groups and Resources
Finally, there are a variety of resources to help you plan a funeral and cope with grief after your loss. Compounding your grief is knowing there was a wrongful death. We want to minimize your pain and suffering by supporting you fairly in a legal case involving the unexpected death of a loved one.
You have many options to consider in the Denver area. At Bachus & Schanker, Elite Litigation Group, we are here to help you with legal representation and fight for your rights under Colorado laws.
Five Colorado Locations
We have several locations in the state of Colorado, including; Aurora, Colorado Springs, Denver, Englewood, and Fort Collins. Contact your nearest location for more information.
The Elite Litigation Group of Bachus & Schanker stands ready to help you with any questions you may have regarding the Colorado laws affecting your family after the death of a loved one.
Grief & Bereavement Support Groups | Denver | UCHealth. (2018).
Understanding Grief and Loss. (2022).
Wrongful Death Legal Reviews
Related Wrongful Death Resources
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