You may have been one of the lucky Florida residents to have found the love of your life. Whether you were able to spend decades together from a young age or found each other later in life, you cherish the time you had together. Recently, your time came to an end due to your spouse’s passing, and now, you face the seemingly monumental task of settling his or her remaining affairs.
Acting as your spouse’s executor may have been a no-thought-required decision. After all, you would do anything for him or her, and your spouse would have done the same for you. Still, you will have a lot of work ahead of you.
What will you need to do?
Though you may feel overwhelmed with grief at times, you still need to take certain actions in the days and weeks after your spouse’s passing. The first steps will involve informing family and friends of the passing and handling funeral arrangements. The idea of making numerous calls can seem stressful, but with the technology available today, you may be able to send text messages or emails to ensure that everyone who needs to know receives the news. This can be more efficient and save some of your emotional strength.
You will also need to take your spouse’s will to the probate court to get the legal proceedings underway. From there, the following actions will need to take place:
- Securing, inventorying and locating all estate assets
- Notifying third parties about your spouse’s passing, including the Social Security Administration (if applicable), creditors, credit agencies, financial institutions and life insurance company
- Canceling his or her driver’s license
- Closing credit card accounts
- Making a list of remaining bills
During probate, creditors will have a chance to make final claims against the estate, and once you have paid the necessary expenses, you can distribute assets to intended beneficiaries.
Having the right help
Settling your loved one’s estate can certainly be difficult for logical and emotional reasons. You undoubtedly do not want to have to figure things out on your own, and fortunately, you do not have to. You can work with an experienced probate attorney who can help you understand the steps you need to take to address your spouse’s remaining personal matters and ensure that his or her estate closes properly.