When a family member passes away, there are some important papers and information that must be gathered. The smart way to address the issue is to gather the papers beforehand and have assistance from an estate planning attorney, according to The Balance in “Important Papers to Locate After Someone Dies.”
- Account statements, including bank accounts, investments and retirement accounts.
- Life insurance policies. You may be required to show the original documents.
- Beneficiary designations. This could include payable on death accounts and transfer on death accounts.
- Real estate deeds
- Titles for cars and boats
- Stock and bond certificates–if held in certificate forms.
- Corporate, LLC or partnership documents
- Account statements
- Business licenses
- Income tax returns
- Pre- or post-nuptial agreements and amendments, if any
- Utilities, cell phone, credit card, storage unit bills
- Property tax and mortgage bills
- Lines of credit or any outstanding loans
- Medical bills
- Funeral bills
Estate Planning Documents:
- Last will and testament, plus codicil(s), if any
- Revocable living trust and amendment(s), if any
- Legacy letter, if there is one
- Income tax returns – federal and state for the last three years
- Gift tax returns -federal and state
Death Certificates –
- You’ll need to order several from the funeral home
In addition to these documents, locate the decedent’s Social Security card and Medicare or Medicaid information.
Reference: The Balance (Jan. 1, 2019) “Important Papers to Locate After Someone Dies”