Initial steps to take after a loved one dies


  1. Obtain Several Certified Copies of Death Certificate:  You will need certified copies of death certificates to open a probate administration, access bank accounts, to claim beneficiary proceeds and transfer certain assets.
  2. Obtain Letters of Administration: In order to have access to financial accounts and handle the assets/property of the deceased, the Personal Representative will need to obtain letters of administration from the court.  There is a court order that gives the Personal Representative legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.
  3. Collect and Secure Important Documents: The Personal Representative should locate the following documents:
    1. Will or Trust
    2. Insurance Policies
    3. Bank statement and other financial statements
    4. Mortgage Documents and statements
    5. Deeds to property
    6. Mail
    7. Documents relating to creditors
  4. Notify Financial Institutions and Government Agencies: The Personal Representative will need to contact financial institutions to inform them of the person’s death so all activity stops. The Personal Representative will also need to notify the Social Security Administration, the Post Office, Employer, Insurance Company and Creditors.
  5. Consult with an Attorney: The Personal Representative and family members should consult with an attorney to discuss all other steps and to initiate the probate process.

To speak with a personal attorney at Whibbs Stone Barnett Turner, PA please feel free to contact us or call toll-free 1-888-967-5721.

We look forward to hearing from you.