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Immediate Concerns

Initiating a probate after a loved one’s death can seem like a daunting task.  Friends and family have been notified, the services have been planned, and care has been arranged for dependents and pets.  If you have been selected as the Personal Representative in the Decedent’s will, you may be at a loss for what needs to be accomplished next.

Here are some tasks for the Personal Representative that can be accomplished before your meeting with our office about the probate:


Locate wills codicils, and trusts (If created by us, we will have originals in most cases)

Obtain multiple death certificates from the funeral director

Fill out paperwork for the Post Office to hold/forward mail

Locate any mortgage/reverse mortgage/HELOC or auto loan documents  to review with us

Review credit cards.  Cancel accounts with a $0 balance, but DO NOT PAY or contact until discussed with us

Keep records of all payments for the funeral and other expenses


Evaluate the need for security of the residence

Remove perishable items

Arrange for care of plants

Remove any weapons (by someone with a license to carry if firearms are involved)

Cancel or rearrange home deliveries

Notify liability insurance (fire, theft, auto)

Notifications and meetings

 Notify any pension companies, including VA (Social security will be notified by the funeral director)

 Notify life insurance company to initiate paperwork for payout

 Retain and meet with a CPA for tax matters (including possible estate tax return if not prepared by us)

 Meet with Decedent’s financial planner to review the status of assets (retirements, investments)

 Investigate business, partnership and investment arrangements and meet with relevant individuals

 Investigate employee benefits, including accrued vacation pay, death benefits, final wages, retirement plans, deferred compensation, medical reimbursements

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