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 really 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 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 the will with the court as well as a petition to be executor. 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.
Can We Help With The Process?
Most personal representatives have never been through the probate or estate administration process before, which can be overwhelming, especially after losing a loved one. We would love to help guide you through the process and bring you a sense of peace as you close out your loved one’s personal business. Call our Fort Worth office today at 817-769-2750, or contact us online to meet with our attorney.