5/13/11 – It’s been a rocky road. True mourning has had to go on the back burner. But here are some more notes on some things that you might want to take care of before something unexpected happens and someone else has to take care of all the things that you use to. Again, I wouldn’t consider any of this legal advice but just some things I’ve been learning as we’ve been dealing with for the past month.
Have an advanced directive for your health and your finances (both directives are used when you are alive but unable to make daily health and financial decisions for yourself – coma, incapable of communicating, stroke, and etc.)
Create a will and even a Revocable Living Trust to protect assets from collectors and having to go through probate court. And for the person you name as the executor of your will and the successor to your trust, know that the two are different and both need good financial records to be kept as long as the monies have not been disseminated (then it’s the inheritors responsibility to know the ramifications for their own tax purposes).
Get many copies of the death certificate. Depending on how many financial institutions, insurance plans, supplemental retirement savings plans, and etc., the person had, everyone of them will more than likely want a certified copy of the death certificate for their company records, in our situation (and I think in most) the mortuary is the one that takes care of the death certificate dispersal to the family (each copy has a nominal fee attached to it). It’s not unlikely that a normal person may need up to 15 copies to give out at will.