In the first pages of this site, we mention essential information to consider when dealing with the home and property upon the death of a loved one. ,.
1. If the deceased lived independently, the police should be notified to avoid attracting burglars - particularly after any obituaries or announcements in the local paper and during times that the family may be gathered for services outside the home
2. Other individuals who currently live in the home may not be able to move out of the house or rental property immediately. It is usually a good idea to have someone in the home, otherwise, the empty property can become a target for thieves or mischief
3. Don't forget to remove health related drugs and equipment - for example, a hospital bed. Remember to properly dispose of any pharmaceutical products and prescription drugs.
4. You may want to retain household help, utility services, and insurance coverage until such time that the house is empty, and no further work or viewing is expected. For homes in wintery areas, heat and snow removal services are essential.
5. Rental, investment property, or vacation home situations may require more time to settle or formalize new legal arrangements.
6. Household items and personal collections will still need to be inventoried, accounted for, and appropriately distributed or sold.
All of the above will require time and effort to sort out. Hopefully, you will find that the deceased prepared some instructions on the estate - for the home, collections, personal items, etc. - as suggested by our "When I Leave You" pre-planning document.(click below to download).
Before doing anything, check with the deceased's lawyer and/or Executor/Executrix.
And remember to stop and take a breath.
Ask for help when you need it.
In the following pages, we elaborate on each of these issues, from dealing with the police for security to handling rental or investment properties. From dealing with utility bills to clearing the dwelling.
It is likely to be an emotional roller coaster ride - with memories that pop up unexpectedly - over the family bible, a wedding album, or a favorite holiday memento. Inevitably, there will be issues and challenges about what is worth saving - for personal or monetary reasons.
Make your list of what must be done, and what needs to be tackled immediately.
Start with the easiest stuff (like the refrigerator and medicine cabinets).
Delegate what you can and set a timeline that you can manage.
Always remember: Keep everyone safe and utilities running.
Take breaks - Stop and take a breath - Take one step at a time.
The Police should be notified if the deceased was living independently. Irrespective of whether or not someone will continue to reside in the home, for security purposes let the police know of the death.
Whether the deceased owned or rented or owned the home, mortgages and rental obligations still need to be paid and settled.
Like mortgages and rent, utilities and maintenance need to be addressed.
What about rental or investment properties? Vacation homes? Timeshares?
Step-by-step guide to what to do first. Calls, paperwork, Care Arrangements, etc.
Detailed guide to prepare or fulfill final wishes
Where do you start? Physical remains, funeral options, death certificates, memorial services and more...
Next hurdle -how to handle financial records and accounts
What you need to know to protect and eliminate the deceased's digital presence
Don't forget subscriptions, memberships and more...
Funny, helpful, special stories others have shared to help you through the process
For each section, download and personalize a ped checklist