Picking up the Pieces After a Loss
You’ll always love and miss those who have passed on before you. But at some point after the funeral service held in San Jose, you’ll have to start picking up the pieces. Depending on your family’s particular situation, it may be necessary to clean out the house and sell it, and you’ll definitely have to find important financial documents to close the estate. Dealing with the details can be overwhelming, so try to delegate some tasks to other family members and keep a master list of what needs to be done.
Finding Financial Documents
The executor of your loved one’s estate will need certain documentation from you. One of your first priorities will be to locate important documents, including those pertaining to the following:
- Homeowner’s policy
- Life insurance policy
- Other insurance policies
- Stocks and bonds
- Bank accounts
- Bill receipts
There may be multiple versions of the decedent’s last will and testament. Unless it’s proven otherwise invalid, the most recently notarized will is the one the court will accept.
Dealing with Old Accounts
You’ll still need to pay many of the decedent’s bills. Notify the mortgage lender of the death, and continue to pay the mortgage, utilities, and any maintenance companies such as a landscaper. Have these entities send the bill to whoever is managing these responsibilities on behalf of the decedent. The decedent’s mail will also need to be forwarded for at least two to three years, just in case some long lost friends decide to write the decedent. Certain accounts you should cancel outright, such as magazine and newspaper subscriptions, shopping club fees, gym memberships, and TV services.
Sorting Through the Decedent’s Belongings
Some people find sorting through possessions to be therapeutic, while others can’t bring themselves to get rid of anything. If you fall into the latter category, consider renting a storage unit. You can place your loved one’s belongings there until you’re ready to go through them. When you do sort these items, organize them into three main categories: Keep, donate or sell, and throw away. Of course, anything that the decedent bequeathed to an heir will be transferred to that person. When all that is left are the items to sell, consider hiring an estate sale company to handle the details for you. Then, you’re ready to prepare the home for sale.