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Estate planning: Resolving finances after death of loved ones

Emotions can run rampant when a beloved family member passes away. For those Arkansas residents who are left behind and having to go through their loved ones' estate planning documents, there are some words of wisdom to heed before making any major decisions. Grief can cause a great amount of stress and financial decisions related to a deceased person's estate plan should be made with a clear head. Experts suggest people put off making major decisions, such as selling a house, until about six months have passed after a person's death.

Asking for assistance may be wise when having to go through all the paperwork. A lawyer and/or a financial planner might be able to give some prudent advice. Getting a number of copies of the death certificate may help in case there are instances when they need to be presented to various individuals, companies or institutions. Calling the deceased person's employer -- if the company doesn't already know -- is one of the first things that should be done upon a person's death at which point the employer may be able to verify if the employee had a life insurance policy or any benefits of which family members should be aware.

Wills and trusts should be found along with any pertinent financial documents such as bank accounts, tax returns, loan statements, etc. These documents will be needed to file a final tax return on behalf of the deceased. Tracking these documents down should not be difficult if the decedent had a well-rounded estate plan.

A compassionate Arkansas attorney may be able to help a client through a family member's death in terms of sorting out estate planning documents. There is much to consider when a loved one dies. A lawyer may be able to alleviate the stress of administering a decedent's estate.

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