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Steps To Take After A Loved One Has Passed Away

Losing a spouse or a parent is an emotionally grueling experience. There are also countless financial and legal issues that must be addressed, which can add to the feeling of bewilderment. It can be difficult to know where to start or where to turn for help.
At Turkett Law Office, we assist individuals and their families through the probate and estate administration process with care and compassion. After more than two decades of doing this work, we know which issues should be taken care of right away and which can wait until you have had time to grieve.

Do Bills Have To Be Paid Immediately?

Generally, bills do not need to be paid immediately. In most cases, you can wait for one to two weeks without facing serious repercussions. Instead of rushing to pay bills, we often recommend that people take the first week to two to grieve and be with family.

First Step

Secure The Tangible Personal Property

If you are the executor or personal representative of the Will, the first step that should be taken is to secure the decedent's tangible personal property, which includes any property you can touch, such as silverware, dishes, furniture, or artwork.

Second Step

Meet With A Probate Lawyer

When you are ready, and not a minute sooner, the second step to take is meeting with a probate lawyer who can explain the process that is required to probate the Will, if there is one. A probate lawyer can also explain how to handle a loved one's estate if he or she died without a will.

Third Step

Handle The Probate Or Estate Administration

Typically, the executor or personal representative first files an application to probate the Will with the court as well as the original will. After a hearing, the court will authorize the executor to act on behalf of the estate. Then, he or she must begin to pay all debts, file tax returns, and distribute the property to the rightful heirs. However, keep in mind that the exact rules that must be followed vary depending on the situation.

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