The loss of a loved one is never easy. Although the time after a loved one passes is a time to grieve, it is also the time to make necessary arrangements. Our team of Las Vegas estate planning attorneys works to guide you through this devastating time, and we explain what steps family members should take after a loved one passes away.
What to Do Immediately After a Loved One Dies
Losing a loved one is emotionally devastating and overwhelming. Trying to take charge of your loved one’s wishes can be challenging – especially if you don’t know where to start. Our team at Hurtik Law & Associates has put together a list of some of the steps you should take following your loved one’s passing.
- Get a Legal Pronouncement of Death: An official declaration of death is the first step to getting a death certificate. To get a legal pronouncement of death, you will need a medical professional to declare their death. You won’t need to go through this process if your relative passed away in a hospital or a nursing home where a doctor was present. If a doctor was present at the moment of their death, they will handle this part for you. If your relative passed away unexpectedly or at home, then you would need to handle this process.
- Make Funeral Arrangements: Once you get a legal pronouncement of death, you will need to find your loved one’s paperwork to discover if they have a prepaid burial plan. If they don't have one, you will need to choose a funeral home and where the service will be held. During this time you can ask relatives and friends if they want to eulogize or help plan the service.
- Get Copies of the Death Certificate: You should get at least ten copies of the death certificate to help you close bank and other financial accounts. The funeral home may get copies of the death certificate for you.
- Find the Will & Estate Plan: You will also need to find out your loved one’s wishes regarding their estate. That is why you will need to find their will. Once you find their will, you can discover who their executor should be. The executor is the person assigned to be involved in the probate process or estate distribution process.
- Meet with a Probate Attorney: Whether your loved one had a will or not, you should contact an experienced probate attorney. If your loved one didn’t have a will or only had a will (and not a trust), you may need to go through the probate process. The probate process can be long and complicated, so it’s something you shouldn’t handle alone.
What Does the Probate Process Entail?
The point of probate is to recognize a will and appoint an executor to follow the intentions of the decedent’s last wishes. If the will already have an executor, they would automatically become in charge of the probate process.
During this process, the court will require the executor to take inventory of assets, assess value, and distribute the assets according to the probate court’s mandate and the will. If there was no will or estate plan present, the court will then decide how the estate should be distributed.
Las Vegas Probate Attorneys
If you need guidance with the probate process, our team at Hurtik Law & Associates is here to help you. We have helped families and individuals across Las Vegas with their estate planning and probate process. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to help you during this difficult time. Let our team help you from start to finish.
Contact us today at (702) 323-5750 to schedule a consultation!