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What do you do after losing a loved one?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Probate |

When a family member passes away, it is difficult to know how to move forward. Yet, it seems there are countless things you must do, often all at once. Among all the uncertainty, there are three important things you may wish to remember.

Do not avoid your emotions

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult, stressful experiences you can face in life. The grief you feel may be overpowering, even debilitating. Many people might find it easier to suppress these complex emotions than actually feel them.

While working through grief is different for everyone, it will help to deal with these emotions directly rather than avoiding them. Obtaining professional mental health counseling to help navigate grief is recommended.

Begin probate

As we have discussed in previous blog posts, thinking about the probate process is the last thing you may want to do while you are working through your emotions. Even so, it is something that must be done. If the decedent’s estate is over $184,500, it involves the filing of a petition with the probate court after a loved one’s passing in California.

The person who files the probate is often the executor listed in the will. If there is no will, then someone must still complete this step to begin the formal probate process.

Depending on the details of your loved one’s estate, probate can be an extensive procedure. Just like it may help to seek professional guidance for your mental health, it can also help to obtain legal guidance to manage the tasks involved in probate.

Update your own estate plan

You may have to make changes to your estate plan after a loved one passes. For example, if your spouse who passed away had medical power of attorney on your behalf, you should choose someone new to be your representative if you become incapacitated.

Updating your estate planning documents and beneficiary designations may not seem urgent during this time. However, it is something to keep in mind and address with your attorney in the near future after losing a loved one.