After a parent passes away, the surviving loved ones may have a challenging road ahead. Adult children may deeply feel the grief of their parent’s passing, and while addressing their emotions is important, at least one of them will likely have to handle matters associated with closing the parent’s Tennessee estate as well. If that job falls to you, you undoubtedly want to know what steps to take.
If your parent did not take steps to avoid probate, you will likely need to see the estate through this legal process. The procedure ensures the appropriate handling of your parent’s final affairs and that the estate closes as necessary. In particular, you will probably need to address various financial affairs, and knowing where to start may be beneficial.
Pressing matters after a parent’s passing
One of the first areas you, your siblings and other surviving loved ones may want to address is your parent’s funeral arrangements. Hopefully, your parent took the time to express his or her funeral wishes in writing so that the burden of decision did not land solely on you or your loved ones. If so, it may also be possible that your parent paid for the desired arrangements ahead of time. However, it is important to check with the applicable funeral home.
If arrangements were not prepaid, you may anticipate using thousands of dollars from the estate to cover expenses. The exact amount will depend on your parent’s wishes, including whether he or she wanted burial or cremation. It is also essential to keep in mind that you likely will not have access to the estate funds at the time of the funeral because probate has not yet opened. As a result, you and your family may wish to discuss paying the expenses yourselves and taking reimbursement from the estate later.
Financial matters for probate
When the time comes to open the probate process, the following steps may help address important financial details:
- Contacting insurance providers to notify them of your parent’s death
- Locating your parent’s will and other estate planning documents
- Contacting banks and other financial institutions
- Transferring any applicable payable-on-death accounts to the appropriate beneficiaries
- Making a list of bills and settling any remaining debts with creditors
- Handling necessary tax matters
- Listing costs associated with the upkeep of your parent’s home, if applicable
Having to handle such matters after a parent’s passing is never easy. Even if you know that you have the time and ability to address the tasks as necessary, it is important that you do not feel as if you have to handle everything alone.