IL Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What To Do After a Death in the Family

Our office has assisted our clients in dealing with the stressful event of a death in the family.  Too often loved ones will want to complete too many tasks too quickly.  The following represents a list of tasks which are necessary including possible timelines.

Initial Steps:

  • Contact family and friends.
  • Locate copies of estate planning documents.
  • Locate and review the person's insurance policies.
  • Contact a funeral director.
  • If the deceased was a veteran, call your local Veterans Administration office.

Within the first three months:

  • Meet with our office.
  • File the will.
  • Contact Social Security.
  • Review the deceased person's employer benefits.
  • Cancel services that are no longer needed.  Examples include cell phone plans, health club memberships, and subscriptions.
  • Cancel credit cards.

In the following months:

  • Change title to assets.  You will need to examine the underlying documents.
  • Deal with distributions to beneficiaries.  Again, you need to examine the underlying documents.
  • Settle the estate.
  • Hire an accountant.

After the estate is settled:

  • Update your own estate plan.
  • Review beneficiary designations for your retirement accounts and life insurance policies.
  • Review your own financial situation, such as your short and long-term cash needs.
  • Review your situation regarding life insurance, medical insurance, and other types.
  • Reassess your investment portfolio to account for additional assets or other changes.

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With two offices in Oak Lawn and Oak Brook, Stephen M. Sutera assists clients throughout Cook County, DuPage County and Will County IL including Chicago, Hometown, Barrington, Burbank, Burr Ridge, Chicago Ridge, Darien, Downers Grove, Evergreen Park, Geneva, Worth, Bridgeview, Palos Park, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, Midlothian, Willow Springs, Oak Forest, Orland Park, La Grange, Brookfield, Berwyn, Tinley Park, Hinsdale, Villa Park, Clarendon Hills, Westchester, Westmont, Lombard, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Berkeley, Downers Grove, Fox Valley, Glen Ellyn, Willowbrook, Aurora, Addison, Lisle, Forest Park, Bensenville, Wheaton, River Forest, Itasca, Shorewood, Frankfort, Mokena, Naperville, Crest Hill, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Bollingbrook, Schaumburg, Channahon and Woodridge.

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4927 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
| Phone: 708-857-7255
2021 Midwest Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523
| Phone: 630-396-6800 | 708-857-7255

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