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If a Loved One Has Passed, Where Should You Begin?

The passing of a loved one is one of the most challenging and emotional times that we endure. Not only are you trying to cope with the overwhelming grief that follows, but there are also time sensitive financial obligations that need to be addressed.  If your loved one created an asset inventory or “what if” list with all the relevant information, then many of the items mentioned below might be organized for you. If not, I have pulled together a checklist of items that you should address in the first few months.

Collect documentation needed

Collecting and organizing the documentation needed after one’s passing can be an arduous task. Some documents may be easier to find than others so I would encourage you to ask for assistance or support from those around you during this stage. Below is a list of items you will need to gather:

Who you should be contacting:


Change the Titling of Accounts and Assets

In addition to the list above, you may also need to change the titling on bank accounts, credit cards, utility providers, subscription or membership providers. The titling of your home, automobiles or any other tangible assets that you have may need to be reviewed as well. Taking a look at your balance sheet or asset inventory will help ensure that you haven’t missed any items of the list.

There are many other financial considerations that will need to be addressed over the following months but while some of these matters are time sensitive, others can wait. My colleague Chrissy Canapari previously wrote a blog on Words of Advice for Widows where she discusses the importance of not making such decisions right away. Life after a loved one has passed can be an overwhelming journey. By following the steps above and asking for help from those around you, you may be able to make a challenging time a little easier to endure.


Megan Logee, ChFC® serves as Senior Financial Advisor at StrategicPoint Investment Advisors in Providence and East Greenwich. You can e-mail her at mlogee@strategicpoint.com.

The information contained in this post is not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. StrategicPoint Investment Advisors assumes no responsibility for any action or inaction resulting from the contents herein. Megan’s opinions and comments expressed on this site are her own and may not accurately reflect those of the firm. Third party content does not reflect the view of the firm and is not reviewed for completeness or accuracy. It is provided for ease of reference.