Archive for January, 2011

What To Do When Someone Dies: Social Security and Other Government Organizations

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Funeral planning and social securityMany times, the death of a loved one occurs when he or she has reached an advanced age—an age at which Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are part of the financial structure of his or her estate. As part of the funeral planning and estate dissolution process, you will need to notify the proper authorities. In some cases, you might also be eligible for benefits and other services that can provide support during this difficult time.

Social Security

It is your responsibility to ensure that Social Security is notified as soon as possible after a loved one dies. In many cases, the funeral director will either alert you to this fact or offer to contact Social Security on your behalf…you will simply need to give permission and ensure that the director has the correct social security number to make the report.

It can take a few weeks or even months before the death is processed with Social Security, so if you get checks or direct deposits, be sure not to touch the money, as you will be required to give them back.

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What To Do When Someone Dies: Online Accounts

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

No amount of funeral planning can prevent the time needed to close accountsIn our modern Internet age, there are multiple places where we interact and communicate online. From standard email accounts and Facebook to Foursquare and Twitter, an individual can juggle as many as several dozen online accounts at one time. And when an unexpected death occurs, this can leave several loose ends that need to be tied up before you can finally say your goodbyes.

No amount of funeral planning will prepare you to handle the numerous different online accounts left open after a death. If you are estate planning or making a will, it is a good idea to make a list of all the online accounts you have as well as the usernames and passwords necessary to access them. This list can be left with a trusted family member or even as part of your will, to become the responsibility of the Will Executor upon your death.

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What To Do When Someone Dies: Real Estate

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Funeral planning and estate planningWhen someone in your family dies, there is a good chance that he or she had real estate (either in the form of a personal residence or in investment properties) that will be subject to either probate, inheritance taxes, or both. In cases where the real estate value is high or completely paid off, this can represent a great financial boon; in others, where there may be a mortgage on the property, the house or land may end up going to probate to pay off existing debts before you’ll ever see a penny.

Depending on your relationship with the deceased, the process of finalizing all the paperwork and transferring the property will vary. Here are a few of the more common situations:

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What To Do When Someone Dies: Grief Resources

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Funeral planning also should include time for grieving The bulk of this series on What to Do When Someone Dies deals with funeral planning and steps for moving through the estate and probate process. However, all the financial and legal paperwork in the world can’t account for the emotional toll the death of a loved one can have on you, your family, your home life, and your professional life. No one, no matter how much advance warning and preparation he or she has, can be prepared for the loss of a loved one. And when death occurs suddenly or unexpectedly, the psychological impact can and will change your life forever.

The best thing you can do for yourself in the days following the death of a loved one is to connect with grief support resources. Even if you never use them, it’s a good idea to have a place (either a physical place or an online group) you can go for help, should the need arise.

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What To Do When Someone Dies: Debts and Bills

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Funeral planning ahead for debtFew people die with every bit of their financial affairs in order – even if they left a will or went through substantial funeral pre-planning. That’s because most Americans live on a delicate balance of money coming in, money going out, and money being moved to savings or insurance accounts. And when a loved one passes away, this balance doesn’t go with them. It is up to the dependents and beneficiaries to navigate the many different bills and debts left behind.

Before you pull out your checkbook or start panicking about how you’re going to cover all the immediate expenses, it’s important to learn your rights and responsibilities about paying bills when a loved one dies.

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What To Do When Someone Dies: Bank Accounts

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Funeral planning and managing the deceased’s bank accountsIn the event of the death of a loved one or friend, there is so much more to deal with than just the emotions and pain of the passing. The harsh realities of modern life mean that anyone who leaves the world almost always also leaves behind a number of accounts, financial documents, and paperwork that has to be sorted through.

Although funeral pre-plans, wills, and power of attorney orders can go a long way in putting your affairs in order before you die, most people don’t have the luxury of preparing for their own death. This series of articles should help you to determine how and when to tie the loose ends associated with money, real estate, and other accounts following the death of a relative.

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What to do when someone dies: introduction

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

What to do when someone dies: IntroductionWelcome to the iMortuary original blog series entitled, “What To Do When Someone Dies.”   We created this series in response to the need for greater consumer information for what to do when someone dies.   As consumers increasingly turn to the Internet for information gathering, we acknowledge that funeral planning and estate matters represent a valuable topic.

Grief and loss are paramount when a loved one passes, and yet dealing with estate issues typically falls to those closest to the one who passed.   Navigating the myriad of tasks and responsibilities can be overwhelming;  it is our hope that this series starts conversations and provides thoughtful insight into these tasks.  We also hope to convey a positive message regarding proper funeral planning and estate planning.
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