After Death Checklist
Things You May Need to do After the Death
Life goes on, and you'll find yourself to one degree or another feeling out of sync with what is going on around you. You'll be faced with strong emotions, intermittent fatigue, and still have to cope with daily life. Here is a checklist of what you may want to do:
Immediately after the funeral or memorial service, you should give yourself adequate time to rest. While you may find sleep to be elusive, you can always just lie down and shut your eyes for a bit.
Remember to eat, and drink enough fluids. Do your best to calm your mind. When you are compelled to complete and important task related to the death of your loved one, never hesitate to call upon a friend or family member to help.
If you find you need more grief support, we offer valuable information and resources. We also offer support in an on going aftercare program to support you and your family in completing pertinent documents and ensuring your affairs are looked after.
Finding the Will:
You have to have the original; the court won't accept a copy. Then you'll have to register the will at the local probate office.
Locating Assets and Determine Liabilities:
That is, locate all the essentials information about your loved one's assets and liabilities: insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments and loans. You'll need all these to manage upcoming transactions and to notify the financial providers.
Contacting their Employer:
This will help you handle retirement plan distributions, employer purchased insurance payouts and ensure that any vacation pay due goes to beneficiaries.
Keep Your Eye on the Mailbox:
Chances are something will eventually arrive about an account or loan the deceased had, and there may be assets that aren't even known to the family. Take the time to cancel magazine subscriptions, catalogs, and anything else arriving by mail regularly.
Paying the Bills:
Don't let anything get by you and slip into collections. Make sure you've arranged to wrap up any outstanding liabilities: the monthly utility bill, the mortgage, credit card bills, or car loans.
Filing Tax Returns:
It's true that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Without fail, you will eventually have to send in federal and provincial income tax returns and possibly estate tax returns. It may benefit you to turn these tasks over to a certified accountant.
Consulting a Lawyer:
When things are really complex, or if you're just not comfortable handling an estate, you may want to bring in a estate attorney. At the very least, check in with one after you've completed what you can. We'd recommend telling them what you've done, and asking them if you've missed anything along the way. Chances are, they can tie up and loose ends in an hour or two and the peace of mind you'll receive in return for their fee is well worth the price.