Closing the Book: What To Do When a Loved One Dies

couple holding hands in the hospital

Death can come out of nowhere. For some people, it is an accident. Others meet their end from diseases or even old age. When a loved one dies, especially if it is a spouse or someone close, then it can be a grievous loss. But this can also cause more pressing problems for you.

When someone dies suddenly, there are often several matters that need to be taken care of. Here are some of the things you will need to handle when someone close dies:

Cancel Everything

When someone dies, they can be the perfect target of identity theft and fraud. This is because no one will be around to dispute the person masquerading as the deceased. If you don’t want that to happen to your loved one, then you’ll need to take steps to notify the various government departments and other agencies about the death.

For example, one of the things you should cancel is any pension and benefits they are collecting. You don’t want someone collecting checks in their name. You might even get in trouble because of it. Additionally, you will also want to cancel their various subscriptions and bills so that they don’t pile up and you end up paying for them.

Handle Their Life Insurance

If the deceased had a life insurance policy, the money from it can be a big help to the beneficiary. For example, if your husband died and he was the main breadwinner of your family, then a life insurance payout can be useful. But you won’t get the insurance unless you make a claim. If you know your loved one has a policy, then you need to get the insurance details and then file it with the insurance company.

It sounds easy, but some insurance companies are hesitant about paying policies out sometimes. If you want to ensure that you get your proper compensation, then you will want to hire an experienced life insurance attorney to back you up. They can help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.

Deal With Creditors

If your loved one died with outstanding debts, you’ll need to work with their creditors to pay them off. This may sound like a big problem but many creditors can be very understanding. They just want their money and they can even work with you to create a decent payment plan. The best option for you is to liquidate some of their assets and use the money to pay off all their debts.

Clean Out Their Belongings

girl putting things on a box

If the deceased lived on their own, you may need to clean out their belongings from their apartment. Even if they lived with you, some items may have to go into storage if you are not using them. But it would be a good idea to hold off on a final decision on them. Storing them someplace is a good idea and come back to what you will do with them a year after death. This gives you some distance so that you can make a logical decision on how to handle their belongings.

No one wants to die with unfinished business. But death can sometimes come out of the blue. Ensuring that all your loved one’s obligations and wishes have been properly handled is a good way to show your love for them and to avoid any legal problems in the future.

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