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Frie, Arndt & Danborn Blog

Probate – When Someone Dies #3

by Frie, Arndt & Danborn

“Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult. We hope this information will help you focus on what you need to do and what you may wish to delegate to friends and family. This brochure will provide you with some basic information on what you may need to know in the first few days following a death. You should establish an early relationship with your attorney to assure that all matters are properly addressed. Seeking your attorney’s advice before you act may avoid more costly legal services later.

 One to Ten Days after Death:

Death Certificates: The most common and quickest way to obtain death certificates is through the funeral director. The cost is usually higher for the first death certificate. Additional certificates can be obtained at a lower price. In order to know how many to order, you should estimate the number of different assets held by the deceased or institutions that will require a death certificate. If you do not order enough, you can get more death certificates later through the Vital Statistics Department in the county where the death occurred, or through the Colorado State Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Records Office.

Contact the following persons or institutions:
• police, to occasionally check the house of deceased, if vacantGravestones By Lake
• attorney, to learn how to transfer assets and assist with probate issues
• accountant or tax preparer, to determine whether to file an estate tax return or final income tax return
• investment professionals, to obtain information on holdings/assets
• bank, to locate accounts and safe deposit box
• insurance agent, to obtain claim forms
• Social Services, to learn of benefits
• Social Security, to stop monthly check and learn of potential benefits
• Veterans Affairs, to stop monthly check and learn of benefits
• agency providing pension services, to stop monthly check and obtain claim forms
• guardian, conservator, agent under a durable power of attorney, to notify of death and the end  of their responsibility
• utility companies, to alter or discontinue service
• employer, to notify of death and learn of benefits
• newspaper, to stop subscription and/or submit an obituary
• post office, if necessary, to forward mail”

Our office has helped many grieving families and friends with the difficult matters that need to be handled after a loved ones death.  We understand the pain of the loss can make these matters extremely stressful and we try to assist in a way that alleviates some of the pressure.

The above excerpt was from a pamphlet is published as a public service by the Colorado Bar Association. Its purpose is to inform citizens of their legal rights and obligations and to provide information regarding the legal profession and how it may best serve the community. Changes may have occurred in the law since the time of publication. Before relying on this information, consult an attorney about your individual case.