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Old 07-23-2014, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Passing away of family, what do i do? Advice needed.

My father passed away today... He died in my arms.
He was the main provider for the family and controlled everything. What do i do from here?
Any advice what to do for stuff such as hospital bills, property, insurance? basically everything one could think of would be nice.

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:58 AM   #2
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I'm sorry for your loss...
Did he have a will?
Life insurance?
Was he a veteran?

Those will help get the ball rolling forward... as well as reporting the death to the Social Security office.

When my father passed away my mom took care of almost everything... though the Navy was very helpful as well.

I'm not sure what I would have done if I'd tried to tackle it on my own.

All the best...
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about the loss of your father. First and foremost be there with your family.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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Sorry for your loss. I lost my brother last year. I didn't get to say goodbye....it still is in the back of mind to this day. I don't know if it would have made things any better but I still wonder.

As far as what to do......your next couple of days will be notifiying everyone your dad and family have a connection to. Take care of the arrangements and spend time with family. The bill collectors will understand given the circumstances.

Depending on the laws of your state and the value of the estate, will determine what you have to do. In Maryland, we had to go to the register of wills and open a case. Maryland law allows 6 months for bill collectors to notify the estate of any past due bills. Once we had the necessary paperwork, we could transfer titles etc.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:33 AM   #5
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Did he leave a widow? If he did, then she will legally be the sole decision maker. You will be supporting her through the process.

First priority will be how you deal with his physical self. Find a nearby funeral home, call them up, and then connect them with a loved one that is able to make decisions on your behalf. If you want to pick up the rest of the pieces before they go completely lost, then having his final arrangements taken care of by someone you trust will give you the space you need to really tackle the logistics and financials. If it's not someone you trust, then you'll put just as much work into making it right as if you hadn't found soemone you trust. Depending on emotional stability, this may be a good job for a widow if he left one. She'll be able to make what she wants out of it, and she won't have time to get in your way on all of the other important things. The funeral home director/advisor should be a good source of knowledge regarding what to do next.

Start a financial ledger. Everything you do that you pay or receive money for on behalf of your father, write it down.

Next, figure out insurance. Did he have health insurance to cover any final hospital stays? What does he owe on this? Did he have life insurance? Start claims on this immediately. Was he a veteran? There are a lot of benefits to be had from just having "veteran" status.

Get the bills paid. Water/Electric/Gas/Mortgage/car payments/etc. will continue to occur. Find out what bills are coming in that won't be auto-paid and make sure they continue to get paid while you're working through the process. On a spreadsheet, indicate what the bill is, when it comes in, how much it is? Write this down on your financial ledger.

Work his living will if he had one. I'd probably always recommend a Lawyer, but you may be able to avoid lawyer costs if you know the will doesn't have potential to get messy. This could be the biggest step of them all, especially if he has not left a widow or if the will is not specific. By this point, you'll have things a little more firmly figured out.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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Yeah it's just me and my mother at this point. No other family.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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Sorry for your loss, brother. Fooger has it pretty well covered, it's very important to keep track of all the financial responsibilities. Try to spend extra time with friends over the next few weeks, it will help to offset the "extra quietness" around the house that follows a passing. Just being around other humans can help prevent sadness and depression.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:58 AM   #8
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Your mother will probably have a real difficult time with all the details of the viewing. Be her rock....

Props given for fooger. He summed it up much better than I.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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Sorry for your loss. Be there with your mom.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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Not much to add except condolences. Having lost my father last year, and my Father-in Law this spring, I know what you're going through.

Just remember, family comes first. All the financial stuff can wait.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:27 AM   #11
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Sorry for your loss. It's hard to see a loved one move on.

If you aren't, your mom will need to make you Power of Attorney and Executor if she doesn't feel capable (if there isn't someone already).

The usual listing of assets/debts to figure out how to move on. Others have already commented on most things.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:36 AM   #12
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Sorry for your loss. Even when you've had time to prepare yourself, you're never ready for something like this.

The practical advice above is hard to improve on. Just help your Mom get through it - it will probably be harder on her.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:45 PM   #13
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I'm very sorry for your loss. I cannot be of much help other than to tell your mother not to make any large financial decisions for at least 3 months. She will not be thinking clearly and it will be easy to make mistakes that will last for a very long time. Women are wired differently than men and have a tendency to use their heart instead of their head in times like this. Let her heal and then lead her to the correct path. If you feel like she is not going to take your advice then I would not push it on her.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:26 PM   #14
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Truth is she doesnt understand english well so its up to me.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:59 PM   #15
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There is very good advice in this thread already, I'm not sure what else constructive I can add, but I wanted to tell you that I'm truly sorry for your loss.

Go be with your mom.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:13 AM   #16
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Condolences.

+1 to the above.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:04 PM   #17
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I lost 3 grandparents in the past 3 years. The lesson my parents did not have to learn the hard way was how valuable a lawyer is. Obviously having everything squared away in advance helps, but there are lawyers who specialize in this kind of thing. You can spend months or years yourself trying to cover all the bases needed to sort out everything that needs doing, or you can have a legal expert handle everything this week.

Obviously there are lawyers who specialize in "unexpected loss of a loved one" and getting you back to your lives... and lawyers who specialize in "somebody died, who can we sue?". Be sure you find the right kind of lawyer for this particular situation.

For everybody else watching this thread, please take it to heart. I was lucky to have a mother who worked for State Farm for 40 years. When it came to my grandparents, everything has been suitcased for years for when the time came. My parents have their affairs sorted and the legal stuff prepared to the point where all I have to do is call the Lawyer and stand back. Everything down to what music to play at the funeral is done. If you haven't had this talk with your parents, no matter how young they are, it's time.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
For everybody else watching this thread, please take it to heart. I was lucky to have a mother who worked for State Farm for 40 years. When it came to my grandparents, everything has been suitcased for years for when the time came. My parents have their affairs sorted and the legal stuff prepared to the point where all I have to do is call the Lawyer and stand back. Everything down to what music to play at the funeral is done. If you haven't had this talk with your parents, no matter how young they are, it's time.
Yeah no kidding. My dad was 49 and strong and healthy as they get.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:30 PM   #19
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I don't have much to add to all the good advice given so far except to say I'm very sorry for your loss. I've lost both my foster parents and my biological mother in the past 12 years, so I know what it's like. This is an emotional time for you and your mom, and so I'll say a prayer for you two tonight that you might find some comfort and peace in this difficult moment.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:30 PM   #20
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Very sorry for your loss.

I will second samnavy's opinion on getting a lawyer. It saved a lot of headaches and heartaches when my grandparents passed. It's especially helpful when they have assets that need to go to probate court.
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