Dealing with the death of a close family member can be a trying experience, especially if it is the first time you are the responsible adult in charge of making sure everything is done properly. You not only have to deal with your own grief, but you also must make sure the deceased's affairs are in order.
This is tough for even the most meticulous people as the Cape May County Herald discusses in "What to Do When a Family Member or Loved One Dies."
Some things you need to do are just common sense. For example, you must make sure everything is safe and secure at the home, that any pets are taken care of and that any perishable food items are cleaned out of the refrigerator and pantry.
You should also take some financial steps.
It is important that you log any expenses you have while dealing with the clean up so you can be reimbursed from the estate. You should also be certain to locate any credit cards or check books to make sure they are secure. It is illegal for you or anyone else to use the cards or checks, so destroy them.
The most important thing you need to do when a loved one passes away is to call an attorney. If you know the family member used a specific estate planning attorney, then call him or her to ask about important documents. Otherwise, call an estate attorney to learn about your legal obligations.
Reference: Cape May County Herald (Oct. 31, 2016) "What to Do When a Family Member or Loved One Dies