When a person passes away, he will leave behind his property, assets, and estates all which will have to be properly processed in court so that things are settled and given to the named beneficiaries of the person. The family and beneficiaries of the person will appoint a personal representative or an executor to handle the Probate process which basically handles the property of the deceased or decedent. However, a probate process cannot be open or initiated without the right papers and documents which is why these have to be prepared beforehand. Today, we will talk about the documents and papers that you need to prepare when someone passes away.
1.) Asset documents – First of, you will have to prepare the documents that show the assets of the decedent and where these can be found. These documents include the statement of accounts like ones from retirement accounts, bank accounts, and brokerage accounts which are dated a few months before the person has passed away.
Asset documents also include life insurance policies which can be acquired from the insurance company of the deceased. Take note however that older policies from the company will need you to submit the original policy to get the documents.
Other asset documents include the deeds to the real estate of the decedent (a copy will do), designations of beneficiary, titles to cars and boats, and also certificates of stocks and bonds so that these may be transferred properly when the time comes.
2.) Business Documents – This will apply if the deceased or decedent owned a business that has been closely held. It is recommended to have the original and a copy of the following: Corporate, LLC or Partnership documents which also include the articles regarding the organization along with the agreement of the shareholder, and other business-related documents. Try talking with the Business Lawyer of the business to get a hold of these easier.
It is also important to prepare the contracts were signed under the business like agreements of employment, leases, as well as loans filed under the business. You should also prepare the license of the business in the local area as well as the state and the tax returns of the fed and state within the past 3 years.
3.) Bills – Another important thing to have is the bills of the decedent which include real estate taxes, mortgages and loans, credit card bills, hospital and medical bills, utility bills, and more. These are very important since they are to be used in the probate process which involves the payment of all of the remaining debts of the decedent using the gathered assets. Make sure that these bills are legitimate to avoid getting scammed.
4.) Documents on Estate Planning – Now this is probably the most important or if not one of the most important documents you need for the Probate process. Included will be the Last Will and Testament of the decedent where you will be able to find the names of his beneficiaries along with his desires for the properties he has left.