What Do I Do Now?
Next steps to consider when youve lost a loved one April 2015 by Kristine Porcaro, Co-Founder Lexington Wealth Management
Dont feel rushed or pressured. Taking time to mourn is necessary, but many of us feel the need to get stuff done. If thats the case, start here.
Get some help! Reach out to your advisors. If you dont have one you trust or feel comfortable
enough to help you through this time, find someone you do. Ask your friends, professional contacts, or give Lexington Wealth a call. Unfortunately, we have dealt with the loss of a loved one and can point you in the right direction for resources.
Gather your documents Anything you think might be important or are not sure, like bank statements,
check books, marriage documents, accounts statements, wills, trusts, and anything that comes in the mail the next few months. Start a pile that your advisors can help you go through.
Open the mail and check emails Many of us still get paper statements for mortgages, loans, bills, etc. But, many
of us also receive these things electronically or via email. Be sure to watch for these items.
Get copies of the death certificates Get more copies than you think youll need, but be certain to review it for correct
information and spelling, many times there are mistakes which can be frustrating. Make some calls
Youll need to call social security or go online at www.ssa.gov to see if you qualify for benefits or call 1-800-772-1213 and ask for Publication No. 05-10084: Social Security Survivor Benefits.
Call the bank of your loved one. Call your loved ones employer or former employer to ask about benefits, life
insurance companies, other insurance companies, possibly the veterans administration, and several other entities.
Call the utilities companies and service providers. Be sure to remove your love ones name so you dont have any problems down the road if you need to make a change in service.
Close those Credit Cards
Be sure to close any credit card accounts in your loved ones name and notify a credit-reporting agency like Experian.
Cancel those club memberships If there are any health club or golf club memberships many require a 30-day
written cancelation notice. Be sure to call and do this so your not paying for anything you are not using.
Check online accounts Hopefully, you will have logins and password to any online accounts (e.g.,
PayPal, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, dropbox, photo sites) so you can close anything or be sure accounts are behaving as they should.
Collect other documents Youll eventually need car titles, and property deeds, so look around for these
things. If you cant find them they are available and your advisors can help.
Call you local charities or church When its time to go through some personal belongings many folks in need can
use some of these simple items.
Meet with your Financial Advisor You will have to rollover IRAs, distribute retirement accounts, possibly sell some
assets, plan for your future and they can help with all of this.
Call your Estate Attorney and CPA They can help with any state requirements/filings, obtaining tax id numbers and
updating your estate documents, etc.
Start to review your cash flow Postpone any big financial decisions, but know your situation, what income is
coming from what sources and what needs to be going out for expenses. This will help you to begin to plan for your future.
Remember all of this is a process and it will take time. Dont put to much pressure on yourself. Take a break occasionally, visit family or friends and be prepared, once all of the stuff is done you may be feeling like now what. Keeping yourself busy is a great mechanism for healing. Now its time to find something fun to do for you. Join a book club, a support group or an exercise group. What ever works for you, just get out there and live!