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  • Writer's pictureRuthPGeorge

Preparing for the unthinkable

When a loved one passes away, there are many considerations and matters to be handled. I work with my clients to assess and take action, as appropriate, on those matters until the estate can be closed.

Some early considerations include:

1. Cash needs. What are the sources of cash for the benefit of the family who may depend on such money for maintenance? For example, joint bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds.

2. Custody of children, if orphaned. Who will take care of any orphaned children until such time as the Surrogate’s Court can appoint a legal guardian?

3. Securing the decedent’s property. The decedent’s personal and business property may need to be secured; certain assets need to be protected; an inventory and appraisal of tangible personal property, may be necessary.

4. Reviewing insurance coverage for real estate, automobiles, tangible property, etc.

5. Verifying ownership of property.

6. Checking the premiums owed for any insurance policies, the expiration dates and what more may need to be done regarding same.

7. Finding checkbooks and passbooks.

8. Canceling credit cards.

9. Getting all the mail and forwarding the mail, as appropriate.

10. Checking maturity dates for investments including bonds, certificates of deposit and time deposits.

11. Determining liabilities.

I would be happy to assist you with the entire estate administration process if a loved one has passed away.

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