Somebody died – what do I do?

First, grieve. Take time to grieve your loss. There is little to no legal work that needs to take place in the first few days after a person passes away. You are not irreparably damaging the estate if you take a moment to breathe. It is common for us to meet with the family of the deceased anywhere from 1-3 weeks after the date of death. Our best advice for the initial meeting is for clients to bring all “important looking” papers that they can locate among the decedent’s files. Things like statements, policies, tax returns, deeds, and contracts can all be helpful to determining what next steps are needed. It is not uncommon for clients to worry about outstanding bills and debts and how those will get paid in the time between a death and the first meeting. Many times, there is a grace period available but if a friend or family member decides to front the cost of a particular expense, good record keeping is critical for reimbursement from the estate later. Most importantly, you do not need to know all the answers before the first meeting. A large part of what we do at Legacy is helping clients navigate these early stages. Do what you can and we will meet you where you are.