Estate planning is vitally important. Although we have said it before, it bears the need to be repeated: estate planning is a selfish act that you do for the benefit of those you leave behind. Without one, your family has the monumental task of navigating and settling your affairs. For instance, imagine how complex it would be to access your loved one's bank account if they hadn't previously given you access to it through carefully planned estate planning.
We are discussing estate planning because it highlights the need for after-death services and legal procedures. Experiencing the passing of a loved one is an emotionally challenging time in your life. Even if that person took the time to put their affairs in order, you might still have to make time to send and receive paperwork, pay outstanding bills, and more. Though these don't seem like significant tasks, they add stress to an already emotionally difficult time. After-death services are meant to take some of that off your plate so that you can focus on healing.
More Complex Than You Think
What may be simple in explanation may be immensely complex in practice. For example, you may have to close financial accounts and freeze credit cards. Let's take a closer look at what this entails. When you notify the credit card company to tell them that the person who used it has passed away, you will likely need a death certificate. In addition to the emotional challenges that come alongside this, you still have to do the physical work of locating it and sending it to the appropriate people—both of which can be accomplished by after-death services.
You may also have to contact financial institutions that the deceased worked through. Think of all the different people that engaged in financial transactions with the deceased. Here's a shortlist of some you may have to consider:
- Stock ownership
- Bank accounts
- Mortgages companies
- Employee retirement accounts
- Veteran benefits
- Survivor benefits
The above list is not exhaustive. Taking care of your loved one's affairs may take a significant amount of time, energy, and focus. The simple act of forwarding mail is minor, but the more attention you have to spend on that, the less time you have with your loved ones. Make time for yourself and process the loss.
You deserve a legal team you can trust. After someone passes away, you need the faith and confidence that your attorneys will manage the legal requirements associated with passing away. Book your free consultation with Hamilton Law to discuss how our after-death services can help you when you need it the most.