6 Tips For Managing Finances After Death

Posted on: 6 June 2018


After a death, most people have no idea how to react. When you consider all the finances involved, coping with death can become even more challenging. Even if your loved one took careful notes and maintained records, you might struggle to find everything you need with passwords, accounts, and strange filing systems. If your loved one was very secretive about finances and passwords, you might struggle to find the information you need to take care of business.

Contending with finances after a loved one dies is stressful, but these tips can help guide you in the right direction. You may find that taking care of your loved one's business becomes much easier when you utilize these tips.

1. Avoid Making Emotional Decisions

Financial decisions are difficult enough already, but making decisions based on emotions after a loved one's death may be a mistake. Avoid selling a home, for instance. You may regret these decisions in the near future.

2. Make Copies of the Death Certificate

You will need several copies of the death certificate to handle different types of business. You may need to send them to banks, insurance companies, and other services.

3. Find the Will or Trust

Original documents, which include wills or trusts, will help guide your financial decisions. With a financial advisor or probate attorney, you can work together to ensure that your loved one's wishes are met. If you are the executor of the will, you need to keep track of decisions you make.

4. File Your Loved One's Taxes

Many people do not realize that you need to file taxes for your loved one after he or she dies. With this final tax return, you can report medical expenses and other situations that have arisen in the last fiscal year. Depending on the situation, you may also need to file an estate tax return.

5. File Financial Documents Accurately

Part of the struggling of gathering financial documents is knowing what you need to hold on to. You need to work through your loved one's mail, email, and other account information. Look for past bank statements, investment account statements, retirement accounts, loan statements, tax returns, and bills. You may need to cancel accounts or refer back to these documents.

6. Work with an Estate Planning Attorney

Never underestimate the power an estate planning attorney can have. You can't do it all on your own. Financial attorneys and probate attorneys contend with these issues all the time, and they know what you need to do next.