When you serve as the executor of the estate, you typically need to manage the deceased’s finances. However, going through another person’s financial records can often be difficult and you may not know where to start.
In the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death, you could feel the need to grieve before beginning your duties. Business Insider suggests that you start working with the deceased’s finances as soon as possible. Sometimes, the deceased may not have had a clear organizational system for financial information. It may take longer than you estimate to sort through the relevant documents.
Begin the notification process
After someone dies, you generally need to contact each financial institution where your loved one had an account. These could include the following institutions:
- Insurance companies
- Investment companies
- Credit card companies
- Government departments
You may want to contact these companies early on. People sometimes target the deceased when they put together credit card scams. If you alert credit card companies about the death, a representative can ensure that no fraud occurs. Additionally, your loved one may have received government benefits. These departments usually pay out benefits each month until they hear about the death. You may need to repay some of these benefits if the department keeps sending checks after your loved one’s death.
Sort through the documents
Your loved one may have had accounts for several different services. You may not identify each service until you sit down and sort through the financial records. Sometimes, it could be necessary to contact each company so you can receive access to each account. You may need to present a copy of the death certificate to demonstrate that you are the legal representative of the deceased.
Each financial institution may request a copy of the death certificate for their records. You may want to obtain several copies.