What Do I Do Now That My Mother Died?

Losing a family member is one of the most heartbreaking occurrences anyone can experience in life. No matter how prepared you can be, it can be very difficult to say goodbye. However, there are some crucial tasks that you need to handle even while you grieve. This includes planning their funeral, closing bank accounts, paying final bills and taxes, and settling their final affairs. An experienced Texas estate planning/probate attorney can enlighten you about the next steps to take following the death of your mother or another loved one.

I am committed to offering experienced legal guidance and strong advocacy to individuals and families who have lost a loved one. I’m available to discuss your unique situation and help you understand the different tasks and legal considerations you need to address. My firm proudly serves clients across Corpus Christi, Texas, including Bee County, Nueces County, South Texas, and the Coastal Bend area.

What Is The First Thing I Should Do When A Loved One Dies?

When a loved one dies, the first thing to do is to obtain a legal pronouncement of death. The legal documentation of death is crucial to obtain the death certificate. The death certificate will be needed to access bank and financial accounts, start probate, settle the decedent’s affairs, and more. You can obtain the death certificate from a medical examiner or a funeral home; ensure that you obtain (or make) several copies for proper documentation. Following the death of your loved one, obtain the legal pronouncement of death and the death certificate as soon as you can.

Who Do I Need To Notify?

Additionally, try to notify the necessary parties of the death. These include all family members, friends, employers, coworkers, professional relationships, and acquaintances. Likewise, ensure that the bank, social security office, brokers, and insurance companies, are informed of the passing.

What Funeral Arrangements Should Be Made?

Find out if the decedent had estate planning documents detailing their final wishes. If a disposition of remains document is available, you will understand what they wanted and can honor their exact wishes. However, if the death happened unexpectedly with no prior conversation about funeral and burial arrangements, it will be left to you to make decisions regarding the disposition of remains. This may include:

  • Burial (in-ground or above-ground)
  • Cremation
  • Whole-body donation
  • Organ donation

Make adequate arrangements for the body and ensure you give your loved one a befitting ceremony.

What about Children & Pets?

If your loved one had minor children, dependents, or pets, you need to make proper arrangements for their care. Find the estate planning documents—Will or Trust—as quickly as possible to see whether there are provisions regarding guardianship. If there is no estate plan, the Texas courts may intervene to decide what is best for the minor children and pets.

Do I Need An Attorney?

The death of a loved one can be an unsettling experience. Furthermore, administering an estate, making funeral arrangements, and navigating probate involve many complex procedures. Handling these various tasks on your own without experienced guidance may present a challenge. Reach out to an estate law & probate attorney to assist with estate administration and other important steps.

Get the Guidance You Need with an Experienced Attorney

Faced with planning a funeral and settling the decedent’s final affairs, you may feel worried, confused, and unprepared. However, you’re not alone. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can advise you on legal and financial matters and help you determine the best course of action.

As the founder of Russell Manning Attorney at Law, I have the experience, resources, and diligence to assist clients through the complexities of probate and estate administration. As your legal counsel, I can help you understand what needs to be done after a loved one’s death. Additionally, I can help you obtain legal documentation of death, make arrangements for the body, navigate the funeral process, and resolve matters of estate settlement. 

Contact my firm—Russell Manning Attorney at Law—today to schedule a simple consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. My firm is honored to serve individuals and families across Corpus Christi, Texas, as well as Bee County, Nueces County, Live Oak County, the Coastal Bend area, and all of South Texas.

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