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Important Papers


Make every effort to locate all of your loved one’s important financial and business related documents. These may be located somewhere in your loved one’s home, such as in an office, a desk, a safe, a fireproof box, or file cabinet. Your loved one may also have stored these items in a safe deposit box at the bank, so be sure to find out as early as possible if your


loved one had a safe deposit box and if so, whether you can gain access to it. Locating the key to the box is helpful also.


If your loved one had a Last Will and


Testament, you will need to locate the original and give it to the person named as Executor/Personal Representative. That person will be responsible for delivering the original Last Will and Testament to the Clerk of Court in the County where your loved one lived and for completing any estate administration which may be necessary to transfer your loved one’s assets to your loved one’s beneficiaries. If


your loved one had life insurance policies, the person named as beneficiary or the personal representative will need to contact the insurance company to make a claim for payment of the death benefits.


The beneficiary will need the original life insurance policy so that he or she may provide this to the insurance company when making their claim, along with a certified death certificate, and any other documents required by the insurance company.


What Happens Next?


The days following the death of a loved one will be an emotional roller coaster. Much attention is given to planning the funeral or memorial service and receiving many calls, visits, and other acts of kindness offered by friends and family.


However, after the funeral it’s often “back to business”, which includes attending to the business, financial and legal matters following the death of your lovedone. When family members and friends have returned to their homes out of town and gone back to their everyday lives, it’s easy to feel alone and overwhelmed if you are the person in charge of closing the affairs of your loved one. We hope that this information will be of assistance to you in helping you get started with this important business.


Other items that you will need to locate and gather include:


• Bank statements/Records • Statements for retirement and brokerage accounts


• Title to automobiles, trailers, boats and other motor vehicles


• Tax returns and tax related documents • Birth and marriage certificates • Military discharge documents.


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