When Someone Dies

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Chapter 1: As Death Approaches
Checklist:
• 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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Please feel free to ask us any question you have'whether it is practical or technical or spiritual. We will make sure that we answer your question or refer you to someone who can. Also, we would like your permission to reprint both your question and our answer. We won't use your real name, hwoever, unless you ask us to do that.
If you want, you can refer to a specific section in the book, especially if you think we should answer your question in the next edition of the book. We also cherish criticism and comments so feel free to let us know anything you think about the book, your challenges around someone's death, or just about anything else.

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A
Dear Cleta, Thanks for your letter. You would benefit from a will. Note your lawyer recommended a living will, and that is not clear to me what he meant. You can, and should, add your children as signatories on all bank accounts so that they can access money immediately upon your death. But a will... read more
Related Chapter: You’re Done; Now Make Things Easy for Your Survivors
A
Hi. This is a complicated problem and you need a lawyer. Basically, in many states, irrespective of the will, a person’s spouse is entitled to certain things, including the residence. But you need counsel to make sure that any interest she has is clearly delimited and that ultimately his will prevails. Good luck.
Related Chapter: The Days and Weeks after the Death: Financial Issues
A
The simple answer is ‘no,’ and do not let credit card companies try to convince you otherwise. The only person responsible for your sister’s debts is your sister ( or potentially her husband if they comingled assets or lived in a state that recognizes community property).  Credit card companies only care about liquid assets. They... read more
Related Chapter: The Days and Weeks after the Death: Financial Issues
A
Dan, I am sorry but your email is too confusing. It is not clear whether Dad signed a codicil or not, and if he did whether you want to challenge his mental state. You need to hire a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. If your new step mother is petitioning the court, you simply MUST respond with full... read more
Related Chapter: The Days and Weeks after the Death: Financial Issues
A
Generally the answer is ‘no.’ The will is filed as part of probate and if there is no probate you need not file. But there may be local rules that differ. You will need to change title on the house that may require filing of the will with the death certificate with the county when... read more
Related Chapter: The Days and Weeks after the Death: Financial Issues