When Someone Dies

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Chapter 1: As Death Approaches
• Who's in charge before the death?
• Does the person have an advance medical directive, also called a durable power of attorney for health care?
• If the person prepared an advance directive/durable power of attorney for health care...
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A Helpful Guide for Executors

For specific questions about wills, probates, estate planning, and other matters including laws in specific states, we highly recommend The Executor's Guide: Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust published by Nolo Press.

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Important legal information

We’ve organized this guide temporally to cover what you need to know and do at each phase of the process form the moment the death becomes imminent, to the immediate aftermath of the death, to the few days to a week or so after, several weeks to several months after, and finally in the months to a year or so after. We’ve arranged the book this way because that’s how the responsibilities confront you: first this list of tasks, then the next list. We’ve also provided checklists at the
beginning of each chapter to provide an overview and to help you get organized.

In addition, we’ve provided a Quick Reference Guide to key elements of the process. For example, we discuss the tasks related to the funeral and any memorial tasks in Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 5. If you’d like to focus on the funeral-memorial, the Quick Reference Guide can point you to all the information, wherever it may be.

We’ve designed the Table of Contents and Index to provide quick, easy access to whatever interests you. Finally, in the Appendices we have provided everything from an Advanced Health Care Directive to a Model Obituary for your reference. You probably won’t need to reference every single one of these
documents, but it’s handy to have them in one place if you do. More forms are available on our Web site, WhenSomeoneDies.net.

If you have a question not answered in the text, please visit our Web site to ask your question. We’ll reply as soon as possible.
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