The October 2012 issue of Consumer Reports highlights numerous steps one can take upon the passing of a family member or loved one. Among the listed items, some steps are overlooked and cause greater anguish and financial difficulty for those who survive the decedent.
While many employers receive word that an employee has passed, few surviving family members contact human resources or employe benefits coordinators. Employer specialists can quickly begin the process of obtaining benefits and providing any pay due. Certain financial institutions “drag their feet” when it comes time to pay out benefits so starting the pay-out process sooner is always beneficial.
Many family members fail to look for prepaid burial plans or other arrangements made by the decedent during lifetime. If the decedent already paid for funeral services, the mortuary will pick-up the body and assist the family members with the completion of vital tasks. The mortuary or funeral home will help obtain death certificates and can assist in the coordination of the memorial or funeral service. As with many industries, the costs of these services have risen such that a prepaid plan can result in significant savings.
Hopefully, you are well aware of your loved ones’ wishes such that you will know whether a prepaid plan is in effect. If not, you should at least know where the decedent kept important documents such as a trust, will, and financial documents. If you have no idea where such important information is kept by your loved one, you should discuss the matter soon. For assistance discussing these sensitive matters, you can contact an estate planning attorney today.