What to Do Upon
Learning of the Death

When a family member dies, you, or someone else close to that person, will want to take some basic steps fairly quickly. While you are not generally legally obligated to take these steps, getting them out of the way will make it easier for you and everyone else involved.

1. Contact Family and Loved Ones

2. Care for Pets or Dependents
3. Transfer the Body to a Mortuary or Funeral Home
4. Obtain a Pronouncement of Death
5. Obtain Copies of the Death Certificate
6. Plan the Funeral Service

Manage and Settle the Estate

Once you’ve addressed the immediate needs that arise after the death, you’ll have to begin the process of managing and settling the estate.  An “estate,” in legal terms, is the collection of assets, debts, and other issues left behind by a decedent. The estate settlement process is the legal process of disposing of the assets, paying the debts, and addressing any other questions or legal issues that might arise

The estate settlement process can be complicated, lengthy, and expensive, even if there aren’t any complications. The larger the estate, the more complicated its holdings, and the more conflicts that arise, the more help you’ll need. That’s why anyone in a position to manage an estate needs to contact an estate planning and probate attorney as soon as possible, especially if the estate is of considerable value.

To Start This Process