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Locating Paperwork: Important Documents To Find Upon The Death Of A Loved One

Once the shock and surprise of a loved ones death eases, there is work to do. Namely, paperwork. It’s important to locate all of the important documents your loved one had in order to expedite the closing of the estate, but many people have no idea where to even begin. To help make the process easier for you, we’ve created this list of important papers that you’ll need to find after the death of a loved one.

Checklist of Important Papers

Death Certificates. You will need multiple original copies of the death certificate to submit to the Probate court, financial institutions, and life insurance companies, etc.

Estate Planning Documents.
• Last Will and Testament and Codicil(s). Must be originals.
• Living Trust and Amendment(s).

Asset Information.
• Financial Account Statements
• Life Insurance Policies
• Real Estate Deeds
• Auto and Boat Titles
• Stock and Bond Certificates

Business Documents. These documents only apply to business owners.
• Corporate, LLC, or Partnership Documents
• Financial Account Statements
• Vehicle Titles
• Contracts such as leases, loans, and employment agreements.
• Income Tax Returns

Contracts and Agreements.
• Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements and amendments
• Mortgage/ Promissory Notes owed to the deceased person
• Property Leases

Bills.
• Mortgages, Loans, and Lines of Credit
• Real Estate Tax Bills
• Medical Bills
• Funeral Bill
• Credit Card Statements
• Utility bills

Tax Returns.
• Personal Income Tax Returns.
• Business Tax Returns (if applicable)
• Gift Tax Returns.

Consult An Estate Planning Attorney For Assistance After The Death Of A Loved One
Planning ahead is one of the best ways to stay ahead when a death occurs in the family. We strongly encourage all families to create a file of important documents, passwords, and/or where to find this information upon their deaths. Doing so will make the passing easier on loved one who are left behind to manage the estate and will greatly ease an already stressful situation.