The Practical Side of Dealing with the Death of a Loved One.

4/21/11 – My father-in-law passed away a week ago. It wasn’t anticipated and all of it ended within the span of a week’s time. We even put him to rest before the end of that week. Things have gone fast and we’ve been doing a lot of “investigating” to find out how he dealt with the business of living as a single man with a mortgage and many accounts.

But it reminds me of some pretty important things that one should do in life to make sure that the people that love and care for you are not overly stressed on top of trying to grieve the painful passing of a loved one. I’m not a legal professional by any means but as we’re going through this “process” I find that there are quite a few normal everyday things we can all do to simplify the aftermath.

Things to remember when you live your life, all the things you do in your life that deal with money are the things that you need to make sure people can find and take care of when you die. Unfortunately that means a couple of things to make it easier for those around you to take care of the most important day-to-day things that you do and don’t think others may have to deal with after you die. So things like creating a list of all the bills/debts you pay out, like your phone bill, cable, netflix, credit cards, loans . . . you name it, if it’s a bill you want to make sure someone can trace it for you. If it’s something you take care of on-line make sure that you also put your passwords and usernames in a place that people you trust will be able to find or access, so not on your password-protected computer.

For your accounts, make sure you know what accounts you have and if they allow you to designate a beneficiary, do so. If you’ve already done so years ago, make sure that you remember who that person is and if you still want that person to be your beneficiary. If you had an account twenty years ago and can’t remember who the beneficiary is, chances are you should check on who that beneficiary was and if the relationship you have with that person is still the same.

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