Unfortunately, death is a part of life, so losing a loved one is something everyone must deal with at some point. The challenging aspects of losing a loved one can include financial obligations, emotions, family infighting, and so on. For many people, the financial strain can simply compound the emotions they’re feeling. However, the more everyone understands about the expenses associated with what your loved ones will have to deal with, the better you can plan. Consulting with the right people and getting your documents in order can reduce the amount of financial strain involved.


The financial aspects of losing a loved one may involve finding out exactly how they died. You may be in a situation in which you questioned how your loved one died. When there is no clear cause of death, medical practitioners will often perform an autopsy. However, if they don’t, then you may have to pay for one out of your pocket. Doing so can ensure that, if anything foul caused your loved one to die, such as poisoning or a malpractice issue, you can seek justice. If you get confirmation that nothing bad happened, it can give you peace of mind, and you can mourn healthily.

Estate Planning and Wills

Unfortunately, many Americans wrongly believe that because they aren’t rich, they don’t need to do any estate planning. That’s the biggest mistake that they can make, especially if they care for their loved ones. Whether you have a tiny house and a plot of land or a few $1000 in the bank, it has to go to someone upon your death. Therefore, it’s essential to get your documents in order so that whatever you own, whether it’s your investments, property, or art collection, it goes to the people that you care about.

Proper financial planning can ease the financial aspects of losing a loved one that your children’s spouse or grandkids will have to deal with. Doing so can ensure that anything you’ve owned in life is distributed as you wish. For example, maybe the church is important in your life, and you want to continue paying tithes upon your death. You may want to continue to support a particular charity by giving them a percentage of your estate. If you have several children or grandchildren, you may decide to distribute things equally or based on behavior. However you decide to set up your asset distribution, it’s important to set that up legally. If you haven’t done so already, take time to look into local estate planning lawyers and do some consultations with them. These legal professionals can give you all the ends and outs of your estate planning options, such as wills and trust. They can let you know how rules may change based on the state you live in. They’ll draft all the necessary documents and ensure you follow the steps to avoid contestments upon your death. The right estate planning legal team can also help your loved one receive a distribution of your assets.

Probate Litigation

When a will is your estate document of choice, or if you don’t have any estate planning documentation, your assets will have to go through the probate process. During this legal process, the state court will navigate your assets. Probate is the time for your creditors time to make a claim and get paid for any debt owed to them. Once that part has been settled, then your beneficiaries can receive whatever you allotted in your will and testament. If you don’t leave a will behind, then the distribution of your assets will depend upon your state regulations. In most cases, they’ll give anything left after creditors to your next of kin. Those next of kin will usually be a spouse and or children.

What if somebody decides to contest what’s in the will? In this case, probate litigation can happen when there is such a dispute. Someone may contest that the will was made under duress or is fake. That’s why it’s essential to ensure your will is as legal as possible with the guidance of an estate attorney. The time for probate is about a year, but that can easily be extended if there is a litigation issue. Aspects of losing a loved one in this case may involve hiring probate attorneys who can help you.

Be aware that when going through probate, some states do require you to get legal representation. If you’re not unsure what the rules are, check with your state government website. Probate attorneys may charge a flat rate or hourly. Based on the state of residence, they may be able to charge a percentage of the estate value instead of a flat rate. The good thing about finding an attorney who’ll charge a percentage is it won’t come out of your pocket. However, understand that it will leave fewer assets for beneficiaries to collect.

If you want beneficiaries to take advantage of as much of their inheritance as possible, you may want to avoid probate. Otherwise, assets may linger in the courts for a year or two while your loved ones need access to it. The best way for loved ones to avoid this final aspect is by establishing a trust or doing certain asset transfers while alive. You can even do that with your home. Otherwise, aspects of losing a loved one can include court fees that come with dealing with probate. Those fees will depend on the state of residence. According to the Balance Money, probate costs may range from 4 to 7% of a state value.

Funeral Planning and Costs

One of the biggest aspects of losing a loved one is planning a funeral. Unfortunately, funerals prove that sometimes it could be as expensive to die as it is to live. The cost of a funeral can depend on the wishes of the deceased or how much loved ones want to honor them. Funeral expenses can also vary based on religious practices and cultural norms. Plus, there are some religious practices in which cremation is a standard and it’s much cheaper to cremate a body as opposed to doing a full burial.

This aspect of loss can often be covered by way of life insurance. However, some people also pay for their burial plot and casket ahead of time. In those cases, all the loved ones have to do is follow the orders from the estate planning document. However, if you’re managing the financial aspect of burying your loved one, you’ll have to consider the cost of the funeral home services, limousine rentals for the procession, and local casket lifts.

If you’re concerned about the style of the casket, understand that the cost will depend on the material. The casket for your loved one may be made from metal, wood, fiberglass, or plastic. According to Finder, some of the more high-range caskets can cost as much as $10,000. However, the average price for a simple casket is around $2500. Other associated costs may include the funeral service fee, which also averages around $2500. Embalming can often range to about $845. If you use a funeral home for viewing, that may also average $475. According to Finder, your typical funeral costs altogether can average about $7848. The final cost can of course be much more than that, depending on the size of the funeral attendance, procession, flowers, church services, food, memorial service in addition to the funeral itself, etc.

In comparison, the financial aspects of losing a loved one can be reduced if you opt for cremation. As mentioned, for some, cremation is not an option, but a requirement due to religious and personal beliefs. According to the NFDA, cremation rates in the United States are expected to rise by over 80% by 2045.

Dealing with Loans and Debts

As tough as it may be to think about, you may have to deal with certain debts upon the passing of a loved one. After all, those financial obligations don’t go away, particularly when it comes to mortgages and other loans. As long as there was enough money left in the estate, those funds will automatically pay down any debt that was left behind. However, it can be a stressful situation if the debt is more than an estate value. In that situation, there won’t be an inheritance as the deceased may have wished. It also creates an obligation that next of kin may have to deal with.

Elderly Care Services

Aspects of losing a loved one may involve more elderly care. If the person deceased was a senior who was getting professional elderly care services, there may still be a bill to pay upon their death. What if an elderly spouse has been left behind? Then the kids or grandkids may need to figure out a plan for their care as well. In this case, the financial aspects of losing a loved one may involve finding new housing or tailoring aspects of your home to receive your surviving parent. So you may need to call a custom truck bed manufacturer and other moving services to move your parent into your home. You may need to pay to your home more mobility accessible.

Agency Notification

Their financial institutions, like banks, investment firms, and credit unions, won’t automatically know that their client has passed on. If you’re in charge of this situation, remember the financial aspects of losing your loved one involve notifying their financial institutions. At this point, you may need to either close these accounts or you may be the person the accounts will transfer to. That will all depend on what was established in the estate plan.

If the person was receiving veteran benefits, disability, Social Security benefits, or anything else, let these organizations know. Certain things like Social Security and veterans benefits may also be passed on to the next of kin.

Real Estate Lawyer

If the deceased left behind real estate, then one of the biggest financial aspects of losing a loved one may involve hiring a real estate lawyer to help you. This person can help you navigate the inheritance issues around real estate, especially if you have to split the proceeds with other people. By having an attorney help you with this case, you can ensure there are no issues with the existing home. The attorney can also work to ensure that sale proceeds are properly distributed in line with the estate plan.

If you decide to keep the house that the loved one lived in, you will still have to take on the mortgage if the home isn’t paid for. Therefore, you may need to look into other mortgage loans, like refinancing options. A real estate attorney can help you navigate the process to ensure you find the best one for your situation.

Another thing to consider with real estate after the loss of a loved one is rental and other investment properties. You may decide to keep those rental properties and continue to use them as an investment. If so, a real estate lawyer can help you manage them. They can help act as or recommend a property management firm to handle the day-to-day management for you. They can deal with tenants, repairs, and any legal issues around the property.

In conclusion, the financial aspects of losing a loved one involve several considerations, from estate planning to real estate lawyers to funeral costs and debt settlement. Luckily, you have several professionals who can assist you, such as estate planning lawyers, probate lawyers, funeral service professionals, and elder care services. You may have to make a list of all the services and products that can make this transition easier, such as deciding on cremation urns, refinancing mortgage loans, moving services, limousine rentals, and even window tinting services so you and others can have privacy as you mourn. However you decide to deal with this process, many people can help you. Then you can mourn your loved one and carry out their wishes with dignity.

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