Updating Documents after the Death of a Loved One
Collecting Paperwork after a Loved One Dies
When a loved one dies, there will be a significant amount of phone calls to make and paperwork to do to get the estate in order. Start a file to store all the documents you collect for safekeeping.
Some the documents you may have to collect include:
- Certified copies of the death certificate (this can range from $5 to $20 per copy);
- Any existing wills;
- Social Security card;
- A list of assets and debts;
- Trust or nuptial agreements;
- Life insurance policy information;
- Retirement account statements;
- Titles to homes, cars, boats;
- Lease or loan documents;
- Income tax returns for three years;
- Marriage and divorce certificates;
- All bank and investment account records;
- Heath insurance policy information; and
- All injury-related expenses (in case you file a wrongful death claim).
If you are filing a wrongful death claim and have trouble collecting or finding the documents you need, your lawyer will be able to point you in the right direction or secure the paperwork for you.
Updating Your Accounts & Policies
If you are in charge of your loved one’s affairs, you’ll have to notify certain parties and provide them with a copy of the death certificate.
You may have to contact the:
- Social Security Administration;
- Insurance companies;
- Credit card companies and all creditors;
- Credit bureau; and
- Utility companies.
You’ll also need to update your affairs. For instance, if you were on your loved one’s employer health insurance plan, you’ll need to contact it and inquire about your options for continued coverage.
Other records you may need to update include:
- Your own will;
- Your own life insurance policy (you may consider increasing your coverage if you are now the family’s sole provider);
- Your banking and creditor ownership records (you may need to update the accounts in your name only); and
- Property titles (home, vehicle).
Additional Records to Collect in Case of Wrongful Death
If your loved one died because of another party’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation. Visit a wrongful death attorney to determine if you qualify, learn exactly what additional paperwork you’ll need to collect, and discuss your next steps to file a claim. You must present evidence that the defendant is liable for the accident as well as of the damages the death has caused.
If you live Cleveland or the surrounding areas, contact Ryan, LLP to discuss any negligence-related issues. Call us today at 877-864-9495 or fill out our contact form
to set up a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
About the author of this article: Thomas Ryan