What to Do
When a Loved One Dies
This page is dedicated to helping individuals begin to deal with
legal issues that arise after a loved one passes away. Attorney
Julie Fiedler is not just an estate lawyer. She is a former critical
care nurse. She is not only able to discuss the legal issues of
estate matters and elder law, but she also understands what people
go through when a love one dies. Julie has also had to deal with the
death of her parents, neither of whom had a proper estate plan, and
she has also assumed the role of conservator of her developmentally
challenged brother. From someone who has been on both sides of the
desk, attorney Julie Fiedler can understand and empathize, and yet
also give the quality of legal advice necessary to minimize the pain
and loss that families will experience. If you are having a
difficult time navigating through legal obstacles while trying to
cope with the grief of a loved ones death, contact Julie today.
When a loved one dies, you should seek legal advice on a plethora
of matters such as re-recording property deeds and the disposition
of stocks, bonds, and savings. Other things to consider will be the
disbursement of the insured's business and estate assets, and the
drawing up of a will for the widow or widower. These issues (along
with many others) will require immediate attention from an
experienced and qualified estate lawyer.
Two Ways to Go
When a loved one dies in California, one of two legal proceeding
take place. The property is either put into Probate, or Estate
Administration. If the property of an estate was not properly placed
in a trust, then the estate goes into probate court. This is a
public proceeding. If the properties of the estate were properly and
carefully put into a trust, then the property is handled through
estate administration. This is a much more private process. In
either scenario, you should seek the advice of an experienced
California estate attorney.
Checklist of matters that need attention when a loved one dies
The following is a brief list of things that you should take care of
when a loved one dies. This does not constitute legal advice or a
client relationship. For comprehensive advice, contact our office
and schedule a consultation.
Upon the death of a love one:
• Take care of yourself first. There are no legal deadlines that
occur immediately. So do not make any hasty decisions or major
• Obtain several death certificates. Usually the funeral home will
• Notify the lawyer or executor of the estate.
• Contact the local life insurance agent or the home office of the
life insurance company.
• May need to contact the Social Security Office and inquire about
lump sum benefits or monthly benefits.
• Explore eligibility for Civil Service and Veteran’s benefits.
• Notify banks, credit card companies, and automatic payments plans
• Notify the post office
• Cancel prescription, newspaper, and other subscriptions
• Gather unpaid bills. Consult your financial advisor or an estate
attorney about whether to pay them, as the debt may lower the total
• Seek advice on going through grief and the healing process.
As if it weren’t enough to just cope with the grief of the loss of a
loved one, you are now faced with legal issues that can often cause
division within families. Seek the advice of an experienced and
knowledgeable estate attorney. Our Law Offices are located throughout the state and serves California in Elder Law and Estate
Planning. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.