After a death, there are many legal details to work out. While it is not necessary to work with a lawyer, it is strongly recommended. The time following a death of a loved one is extremely emotional, and even the closest family may have disagreements. To ensure lasting peace in the family, it is a good idea to let a lawyer figure things out.
Before getting in touch with a lawyer, there are several important documents that you need to gather. Those include:
- Any wills that you are aware of.
- Bank Statements
- Insurance Policies
- Vehicle and Boat titles
- Tax Documents
A certified death certificate is frequently necessary in the wake of a death. A death certificate can be obtained through a funeral director. It is a good idea to obtain multiple copies of a death certificate, as many agencies require a certified certificate and not a photocopy.
Everyone knows they should have a will, but the vast majority – about 70% of us – do not. Writing a will is easy and inexpensive, and once you are done you can rest easy, knowing your hard-earned money and property will be distributed according to your wishes, and that your loved ones will be taken care of in your absence.
Probate is the legal process that transfers the ownership of property from the estate of the deceased to their beneficiaries. During the probate process, the executor of your will goes before the courts and identifies all the property you owned, appraises the property, pays all debts and taxes, proves that the will is valid and legal, and distributes the property according to the instructions of the will.