My father knew that his life was coming to and end after decades he had accumulated a vast number of tools in his garage and had even started his own automotive restoration business having done many antique cars over his years as I remember and had collected many cars. Recently he started to sell off some of his antique cars to enjoy his last days. My father indicated to me that he would take care of everything in his will and we left it at that. About a year or so later he finally died and everything was for us to sort out. We found out after his death that he had no will and this left us in quite a hole that we had to dig out of with a spoon. I may add that I have a sister whom had to team up with me to get this all sorted out .
First, we had to sort out the trash from the treasures including the home furnishings that were in his house and the garage full of all of his tools. Some of the tasks we had to jump thru we would like to share these with you the reader of this article.
First, we had to go thru the entire house looking for any hidden documents as we suggest to you if this is a situation you ever have to go thru is to check all areas of the house including looking carefully thru all books especially the pages of books because I’ve heard of stories were people whom have died And had a habit of placing money money in and between the pages of books in case they were robbed as a thief would never think of looking in the pages of books on a book shelf for money. Titles to cars might be hidden in some books or other deeds or who knows what you might find. We did find money in a few of the books and some other documents. Look every place even behind items that you might not suspect could be a hiding place.
By looking in these places you might find.
Home Owner’s policy: If you plan to sell the home you will need to keep this document until the day of the settlement /sale of the home.
Will: Look for the will any updated ones
Insurance: This could be a private policy or one purchased thru an employer.
Bank Accounts: Carefully read as some banks combined all accounts into one statement.
Letters from any friends: Take the friends and write to them informing them of your relatives passing.
Letters and articles from the deceased: By reading these may bring comfort to you.
Bills and receipts: Contact all creditors and all three credit bureaus to inform them to freeze new charges.
Stocks and bonds: These documents could be tucked away in some hidden places.
Sensitive documents: If you find sensitive documents that are still applicable it’s a good idea to place them into a safe place of your own and if the documents are out of date it would be a good idea to shred them.
In our case since my father didn’t leave a will it was a little complicated as I said digging our way out of a hole with a spoon. The main ingredient of this was to get the house in order and tie up the loose ends. Pennsylvania, which is our state has a law called the ” Intestate Succession” which basically makes it by law that all assets and property go to the relatives ” Children or Spouse if they are did alive.
Which Assets Pass by Intestate Succession:
The only assets that are in your will are passed thru by Intestate Succession laws. Usually this includes the assets that you own in your name.
Many assets and valuables don;t go thru the will and will not be affect by Intestate succession laws:
Here are some items that are not effected.
* All property that has and was transferred to a living trust.
* Life insurance payments
* Funds in your retirement account or an IRA (401k).
* Securities held in a-on-death-account
* A payable on death account
* Property that you own or in joint tenancy with someone else.
The above will pass to the surviving relative or someone in your will whether you have a will or not.
In most cases where a relative had died in the house and there are a lot of items to be sorted out and decide whom gets what as in my case with my sister it’s best to sit down and decide that cordially at a family meeting and anything that you wish to sell you should either sell or have an auction especially with big ticket items are recommended for an auction.
What about any remaining bills and the mortgage:
Contact the mortgage company or bank and inform them of the death and try to come to an agreement with the bank or mortgage company if you decide to sell the property. Pay off all invoices and bills that remain. If you don’t get any cooperation with the bank or mortgage company then find and hire an attorney.
What about big items that remain and you want to keep:
If you find yourself desiring to keep some big items from the estate and you need to transport them it’s recommended that you hire the best moving company .
By hiring a moving company you can save your back and time avoiding to rent a truck and the equipment to do the task.
* B. Rodgers is an employee for Eastern Connection Movers and is the source behind this helpful article to you the reader.