If you are an only child who recently experienced the death of your only living parent, and they had property and a home at the time of their passing, handling the distribution of their assets is likely to become your responsibility. There are several steps you will need take after your parent's death to properly get assets allocated to appropriate people. Any bills will also need to be handled properly to ensure extra fees are not incurred. Here are the tasks you should take as soon as possible to ensure financial information is tackled in the right manner:
Get A Hold Of A Probate Attorney
It is extremely important to have a probate lawyer hired to aid in the proper protocol regarding your parent's estate. An attorney will walk you through the necessary paperwork to fill out in addition to offering you advice in protecting assets as necessary. An attorney will also be able to track down any hidden assets your parent may have had in their possession that you were not aware of.
Contact Your Local Courthouse
Your next stop when handling the finances of a parent who has passed away is with the obtaining of the official death certificate. This document will be given to the court located in the town where your parent had last lived by the town coroner after their death had been positively identified. Request that you are given several copies of the death certificate. These will be needed to prove to creditors that your parent is no longer living so you are not responsible for additional fees.
Find Out About A Will
The attorney you hire will find out if your parent had filed a legal will. If there is no will found, check around your parent's home to see if you can locate one. Your parent may have stashed this important piece of paper in a safe or another locked location. Check with your parent's banks to see if they had owned any safe deposit boxes as a will may have been placed inside of one of these for safe keeping.
Get Items Ready For Distribution
If a will is found, specifics regarding who is to receive items your parent had owned should be listed in the contents. The information will be read by your attorney so each recipient is made aware of any items left on their behalf. If you were named the executor of your parent's your estate, you will be responsible for distributing these items as requested.
Contact a law office like David R Webb Attorney for more information and assistance.