The last thing people want to deal with when they are grieving is red tape. It’s extremely frustrating. In an attempt to help loved ones who have lost a family member, here are some suggestions on how to make a tough situation, hopefully, go smoother.
Do keep cell phones. Face, voice, and fingerprint recognition speed up access for someone who is alive, but present barriers for survivors trying to wind down accounts. For many businesses, access codes are sent to a phone for verification with numbers that must be entered for specific accounts. If the phone can’t be opened, any transactions that are connected to a specific cell phone number can be difficult.
Keep an updated list of recurring charges that are automatically deducted from credit cards, debit cards, or checking accounts. It is convenient to use autopay but there is no reason to continue to pay for services that are not being used.
Get a password manager to hold all usernames and passwords and make sure your personal representative knows the master password.
Buy at least three (3) copies of the death certificate.
Make sure you have other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce papers, and social security cards. It sometimes can take weeks to get copies from various agencies. Often, insurance companies will ask for these documents in order to process and pay benefits from life insurance policies.
Make sure you put the Will and other important documents in a safe-deposit box that you have access to or in a fireproof box at your home.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated!