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Transition Planning

The unexpected loss of a loved one is tragic -- leaving us emotionally, and often financially, unprepared. While the grief is overwhelming, it is important to remember that you are not alone. We are here to manage your loved one’s assets and help you and your family along the way.

We will work with financial institutions and the executor or estate attorneys to manage account closures, insurance payouts, tax filings and identity protection. Throughout the process, our primary objective is to seamlessly manage the process and protect your financial security, while allowing you the time to grieve and take care of yourself.

Immediate Needs: 
Plan and Budget for Funeral Expenses
If your loved ones funeral was not pre-planned, it is critical to immediately plan the funeral location and burial type. As you budget, it is important to consider that insurance benefits and other financial payouts will not be readily available.

  • Gather Documentation
    • Will
    • Bank, Investment, and Retirement Account Statements
    • Property Deeds
    • Tax Documents 
  • Obtain Copies of the Death Certificate
    Certified death certificates are required by financial institutions and insurance companies and can be provided by the funeral home or mortuary.
  • Notify Your Loved Ones Employers
    As the beneficiary, you are entitled to collect the balance of their owed salary or unpaid sick or vacation time. If your loved one’s employer provided your health insurance coverage, you will need to explore options to continue coverage, as well as survivor’ benefits. 
  • Notify the Social Security Administration
    As the surviving spouse or child, you may be entitled to a death or survivor’s benefit, if your loved one was already receiving social security benefits
  • Notify Financial Institutions
    Following your loved ones death, your banking and financial institutions will retitle joint accounts and close sole accounts.
  • Contact Insurance Companies and File Claims
    To ensure a timely payout of benefits, contact your loved one’s insurance companies to begin the claims process. It is also important to notify your financial advisor of any claims so they can provide sound guidance on managing final expenses including taxes. 
  • Protect Your Loved Ones Identity
    To help protect against identity theft, non-joint credit cards, driver’s licenses, and passports should be canceled, and the death should be reported to the three main credit reporting agencies -- TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Intermediate Needs (1-2 Months):

  • Consider Your Loved Ones Digital Footprint
    In today’s digital age, it is important to consider and evaluate your loved one’s digital footprint. This can include social media accounts, which may allow you to memorialize their profile page; online subscription services such as Netflix and Audible; email accounts; cloud storage platforms such as iCloud, Dropbox, and Google); travel accounts, including airline and hotel reward programs; and virtual pay platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle.

Long Term Needs (2-6 Months): 

  • Investment Portfolio
    If you are the beneficiary of your loved one’s financial assets, it is important to evaluate your investment opportunities and long-term goals.
  • Retirement and IRA Distribution Rules
    Retirement plans carry required minimum distribution rules (RMD), which are based upon your age and relationship. If you are the beneficiary, it is important to understand the rules and tax implications associated with each. 
  • Federal Tax Return
    State and federal laws do require you to file tax returns for the year of your loved one’s death. In addition, some states require additional state and inheritance tax filings within nine months of your loved one’s death. Your tax consultant will advise you on your state’s laws and filing requirements.