|The Probate Process: Initial Tasks|
- In the event the decedent made no provision for
anatomical gifts, many states allow you to make that
decision. In most jurisdictions, the funeral director can
obtain certified copies of the death certificate for you (you
will need several copies).
- Word of mouth may not travel in time for the
- Locate the will, birth certificate, marriage certificate,
Social Security card, and any other relevant documents.
- Note the location and value (you may need to retain an
appraiser) of all real estate, insurance policies, jewelry,
and other assets. Make sure assets are adequately
- Inform the Social Security Administration to stop
payments that were being made to the decedent. Inquire about
- Investigate the existence of any veteran's benefits,
private pensions, or life insurance and make claims at this
- Contact an attorney to assist you. He or she can help you
determine whether probate is needed.