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Being Prepared

Our Estate Planning team often encourages clients to discuss their wishes with loved ones openly and early, even though it can initially be an uncomfortable conversation. Even if you have communicated these wishes verbally, these instructions -- together with your attorney’s counsel -- will help your survivors handle the many tasks required after your death.

A complete Estate Plan goes beyond the preparation of appropriate documents.  You also need a mechanism to communicate your wishes to your loved ones after you are gone.  The following is a list of 13 tasks that your loved ones may need to address after you are gone.

  1. Call the funeral director.
  2. Notify family members, friends, and business colleagues. 
  3. Notify and consult with your attorney as soon as possible.
  4. Begin recording expenses associated with your death (keep receipts) and record any funds received.
  5. Contact your employer (if applicable) for final paycheck, benefits, and life insurance.
  6. Obtain multiple copies of your death certificate from the funeral director for filing of claims and transferring assets.  Usually one death certificate is needed for each titled asset.
  7. Contact your insurance agents to file life insurance claims.
  8. Apply for social security benefits through the funeral director for death benefit payable to surviving spouse (if applicable).
  9. Cancel credit cards (or convert to single name if appropriate).
  10. Re-register automobile(s).
  11. Cancel subscriptions and memberships, if appropriate.
  12. Contact your insurance agents to confirm that all insurance policies are current on your automobiles and real estate.
  13. Secure your home, vacation property, automobiles and other valuable property.

Mika Meyers can assist you in communicating these wishes to your loved ones.  We provide tools for easing these communications as part of a complete Estate Plan for our clients.  If you already have an Estate Plan that does not provide these communication tools, please feel free to contact one of our Estate Planning attorneys to obtain this packet of tools and communication aids.



For more information and assistance, contact an Estate Planning attorney at Mika Meyers.