San Ramon, CA

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.

Seek Advice

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 changes immediately.
  • Obtain several death certificates. Usually the funeral home will handle this.
  • 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 taxable estate.
  • 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 Office serves clients throughout the state of California in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

The legal team of Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. provides elder law and estate planning services to residents of California. They assist many Contra Costa County and Alameda residents from their San Ramon office. Other service areas that the team frequently works in are Alamo, Antioch, Brentwood, Castro Valley, Concord, Danville, Dublin, Hayward, Lafayette, Livermore, Martinez, Moraga, Pleasanton, Rossmoor, and Walnut Creek.

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2333 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Ste. 145, San Ramon, CA 94583
| Phone: (925) 244-1185

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