After cremation services for your loved one in Washington Township, MI, there are many important documents that you will need to take care of your loved one’s final affairs. You may not know what all the documents are and you may not know where to find them (if you’re preplanning your own cremation services, be sure to leave instructions on where your important documents are located).
One of the groups of documents that you will need after your loved one’s cremation services are records of their assets. Here are some examples:
- Financial account statements – These will include all bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment or brokerage accounts, and annuities. If possible, you should try to obtain statements for three or four months before your loved one’s death.
- Life insurance policies – While many people buy life insurance policies on their own, they also may have smaller life insurance policies through their employers. Be sure to check with the HR department of your loved one’s place of employment (if they were still working when they died) to see what benefits they were entitled to.
- Designated beneficiaries – Life insurance policies, payable on death accounts, retirement accounts, and transfer on death accounts have beneficiaries to whom the money is paid or transferred directly. You will need to make sure you know who the designated beneficiaries are on each of these accounts.
- Deeds for property – These include homes, buildings, and land. You do not need the original deeds, but you do need a good copy of them.
- Titles for vehicles, boats, motorcycles, campers, and RVs – To legally transfer the titles of these, you will need to have the original copies for each of them that your loved one owned.
- Stock and bond certificates – If your loved one had stock and bond certificates, you will need the original certificates to legally transfer them to someone else.
If your loved one own or co-owned a business, you will need the following documents:
- Partnership, corporate, or LLC documents – These documents include copies of organizational (corporate charter or articles of organization and minutes) documents, operating agreements, partnership agreements, or shareholder agreements, minutes of meetings where business decisions were made, and original LLC or stock certificates to transfer legal title.
- Account statements – You need at least three months of bank statements, retirement account statements, and brokerage statements.
- Contracts – These include any loans, leases, and employment agreements.
- Business licenses – You will need both local and state licenses.
- Income tax returns – You should have federal and state income tax returns for the past three years.
Other important documents you will need to have include:
- Death certificates – The funeral home will complete these and have them available to you after cremation services.
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements – These documents should also include any amendments that were made to the original agreements.
- Personal loans – These will include mortgages, credit lines, and promissory notes.
- Personal debts or liabilities – These will include utility bills, medical bills, and credit card bills.
- Will or revocable living trust – These estate documents should include any codicils (made to the original will) or amendments (made to the revocable living trust).
- Personal income tax returns – You should have state and federal income tax returns for the past three years.
All of these documents, if their applicable in your loved one’s situation, will be needed to settle the estate of your loved one. Make sure you know where they are and how to obtain them before cremation services for your loved one.