How to Handle the Death of a Loved One

How to Handle the Death of a Loved One

What to do with a house of a loved one who died.  

Losing a loved one is never easy, and it is often more overwhelming and emotional when we are left to close out the person’s life. There are many things to attend do after the passing of a loved one, and it can be difficult to know where to start. During these times, you should embrace the offers of help from family members, family, and experienced professionals. If your loved one is leaving you with a home to deal with, here are some tips on how to handle the situation.

When a loved one dies, remember to call the homeowners insurance agency as soon as possible. The insurers will need to know if the home is vacant and if there is going to be a change in ownership. Even if a loved one passes away and the family continues to live in the home, the insurance company should be notified. Call the insurer to update them so that they can adjust coverage as needed.

You’ll also want to secure the property immediately. Ensure that the house and property are not accessible to unauthorized people. If possible, change the locks immediately. Typically, keys are given out to trusted neighbors, cleaning people, caregivers, family, and friends. Changing the locks is the best way to control access to the deceased person’s house. If there is a security alarm system, make sure it is activated and change the code.

Next, you’ll want to scope out the deceased person’s valuables to keep safe. This should be done by the authorized person established by the official documents. Consult with a probate attorney for confirmation. The goal is to have all valuable items safely secured and to maintain accurate records of the items. Verified lists and photos are vital, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries.

If you are planning on selling the property, you may need to move his or her belongings into a storage unit. You may be able to determine if the deceased already has a storage unit by checking registers, credit card statements, and looking for a payment to a storage facility. To gain access, the family member must provide the manager of the storage unit with copies of the death certificate and a court order stating that the family member has been appointed as the administrator of the estate. If you are moving items out of the house, please let the homeowners insurance agency know so that they can take appropriate action to correct the policy.

At Perry & Carroll, we can help. Contact us to learn how we can provide quality insurance coverage for those in Elmira and neighboring cities in New York.

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