Handling Matters After the Death of a Family Member or Loved One

As your trusted advisor, your CPA at Tronconi Segarra & Associates   is by your side during the many chapters of your life. We support our clients through times of prosperity and expansion in their businesses and personal lives, as well as during times of hardship, challenges and change. One such time is when a family member or loved one passes away. Clients are often faced with a multitude of decisions to make in a very short period of time pertaining to personal, legal and financial matters.

When a loved one dies, the task     of handling their affairs can be stressful and time-consuming. Survivors are often surprised by the amount of time involved in handling bank accounts, the residence of the deceased and paying final expenses. A useful   tool that families can utilize is a checklist of practical steps to take in the early days following a loved one’s death. This can assist both the executor and any others involved in handling the final affairs of the deceased.

Below are some of the most important and practical details to tend to immediately and in the days and weeks following a loved one’s death:

  • Obtain a death certificate and several certified copies in order to close bank and brokerage accounts and file insurance claims.
  • In addition to notifying family and friends, contact the deceased’s employer so that payroll matters, pension, if applicable, and any available death benefits can be handled.
  • Learn about existing funeral and burial plans. If the deceased was in the military, contact the Veterans Administration and inquire about burial benefits or funeral services, such as a military salute.
  • Put in place a mail forwarding order to the individual handling the immediate affairs of the deceased.
  • Locate the will and the executor. Consider hiring an attorney to help settle the estate. Obtain a tax identification number for the estate itself.

Contacting the accountant of the deceased is also a very important step in this process. The estate may have to file a tax return and a final individual tax return will have to be filed on the deceased behalf. In addition, your CPA can be very helpful in sorting out the income the deceased received before and after the date of death. Complex estates can take years to administer and settle, so contacting an attorney and CPA early on the process can prove to be very beneficial.

There are numerous additional financial, tax and estate related matters that may arise that your CPA can help you sort through. We would be happy to assist you and your family members during these difficult days. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Tronconi Segarra & Associates’ tax professional or me, Lisa A. Mrkall, CPA, MBA, Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP Partner, at 716.633.1373 or for a more comprehensive checklist including the above items and several additional practical yet critical matters that may need attention.


Related Blogs

Mark A. Ferm, CPA, partner with Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP, has been selected…
Tronconi Segarra & Associates tax partner Mark A. Tronconi, CPA, MBA, will participate in…
Tronconi Segarra & Associates’ partner David Werth, JD, CPA, will be the luncheon speaker…