While we hopefully can all weather the COVID-19 pandemic safely, the truth is that some Oklahomans will pass away as a result of the virus. Losing a loved one is an overwhelming and challenging process. Rather than focus on administering an estate, you should instead focus on you and your loved ones coping and safely weathering the loss. The following outlines some helpful steps to take after losing a loved one.

 

Focus on Yourself and Your Family

 

There can be an overwhelming number of odd tasks to tackle after the loss of a loved one ranging from putting things in boxes to filling out paperwork. Rather than let yourself get overwhelmed with all there is to do, try to focus on what is essential during this difficult time. This means making sure that you take adequate care of not just your health, but also your family members.

 

Avoid Making Sudden Decisions

 

Following the loss of a loved one, many people find themselves overcome with difficult emotions and struggling to think clearly. To avoid making any undesirable mistakes during this difficult time, it is critical that you avoid making any sudden major decisions.

 

Understand Power of Attorney Ends

 

If you held a power of attorney over your recently deceased loved one, it is important to understand that power of attorney is no longer valid after your loved one’s death. Instead, the only individual with the authority to act on behalf of an estate after a loved one’s death is either an executor or personal representative.

 

Determine if a Will Exists

 

Simply because your loved one had many assets when they passed away does not mean that they had a will. Other times, you might not be certain where your loved one’s will is located. Even if you are able to determine where your loved one’s will was placed, the document will still be required to pass probate.

 

Be Prepared to Engage With Financial Entities

 

Following a loved one’s death, you should prepare to interact with various entities that are interested in your loved one’s estate. This often includes banks, credit card companies, and any financial institutes that oversee automatic payment plans.

 

Be Aware of Filing Deadlines

 

While there is often an opportunity to begin coping with the loss of your loved one, you should also make sure that you are aware of any upcoming estate, inheritance, or income tax deadlines.

 

Make Sure All Creditors are Paid First

 

Before making any distributions to beneficiaries, it is critical to make sure that all appropriate creditors who have an interest in your loved one’s estate are paid. Do not feel alone if you need advice or assistance learning how these payments must be made. 

 

Speak With a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney

 

Surviving the loss of a loved one is never easy. If you need the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, do not hesitate to contact attorney Jim A Lyon today.