HOW TO RESOLVE FAMILY FINANCES AFTER A LOVED ONE PASSES AWAY?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mass destruction all over the world. Apart from fallen economy, loss of jobs, individuals are mourning the greatest loss known to mankind – mourning over the deaths of their loved ones. Our heart goes out to those individuals who have either lost their parents, or child, or siblings, or partner, or any other loved one. We understand that no one can take their place. In these grieving times, one is further burdened with added responsibility of various financial tasks. This article aims to help those grieving family members who recently lose their loved ones. Here’s what you can do to resolve any financial complications that may arise during such tragedies:
- Death certificate
It’s important to report, register, and apply for a death certificate to the concerned authority within 21 days of the unfortunate incident. The death certificate is further generally issued within 10 working days. It’s important to make sure that one meticulously puts all the details of the deceased as per the official records. You may also consider asking for several copies of the same from the concerned authority.
- Look for a will
Next, it’s important to check if the deceased has registered and declared a will statement. A will makes it simpler to distribute the assets of the deceased among other family members. Also, if one has nominated a heir to their properties, obtaining a death certificate and other identity proofs would help to fasten the process of transferring the assets to the nominee.
- Modifying bank documents
Next step would be taking care of the bank accounts of the deceased. Transfer of asset ownership and funds can be comparatively easier if the deceased had nominated a nominee or opened a joint account with the survivorship clause. Note that, if the arrear or income of the deceased is awaiting by their employer, then you might consider delaying the closing of the bank account.
- Track their investments
It’s important to take care of the deceased’s investments. Start by creating an investment list that includes their insurance ULIPs (Unit-Linked Insurance Plan), mutual funds, fixed deposits, stocks, fixed-income securities, etc. Contact the appropriate financial institutions informing them about the deceased’s death. Also, if need be, you might consider pausing auto modes of Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) and Systematic Withdrawal Plans (SWP).
- Handle their liabilities
Ensure the bills of several utility bills such as cable, credit cards, loan, electricity, car insurance, etc. are paid on time to avoid any penalty or late charges. Similarly, one may have to handle home loan or car loan EMIs (Equated Monthly Installment) as well. The general rule of inheritance states that a legal heir is liable for the debt of the deceased only to the extent of their share in the inheritance, if not settled by real estate.
Surely, death of a loved one, specially the earning member of the family or a parent brings several complicated financial tasks and obligations. The above checklist can be used to make your task simple. Stay safe!