Mom and Dad have passed, now what comes next for paperwork?

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(This is not a how to do a funeral question). My question is asking what comes next for paperwork, with the memory care residence, the state, etc. She herself will be sent to the local cremation society and I will deal with her remains later. There will be no funeral immediately, as this state is not her home.

I assume somebody signs a death certificate and will get back to me so I can do whatever steps there are to close out her accounts, etc. There will be no "estate" to probate because she will likely be on Medicaid by then and have no assets at all.

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Sandwich - great about the crematorium taking care of everything.

- get at least a dz death certificates. The FH should order these for you. Every policy, account will need an original to close and you will not get them back.

- is mom now on Medicaid? or will likely be? Then whomever is on file for her for the program will get an "intent to file a claim" letter from her states MERP (Medicaid Estate Recovery Program). Which will need to be responded to. How that runs depends on your state as each state runs it's Medicaid & MERP program uniquely based on their state laws. Like some states have MERP as a equal placement lien & other states have it as a claim.

- do you live in the same state as mom? This could make a huge difference as some states do NOT allow an out of state resident to deal with the settlement of their estate. You can be the executrix if so indicated in their will but will need an in the state attorney to be the agent for the estate. You need to clearly find out just how your mom's state does this. My mom is in TX but I'm in LA and my mom's probate guy will be in TX as required by state law. (He actually has had my mom's file, will, codicil, etc as he clerked for my mom's estate attorney (now retired) ages ago when she did her paperwork back in the 90's and he's moved her file with him as he had gone on to other firms…..funny & fortunate).

- if there is a home, you need to decide what approach to take. If you live out of state, then I'd suggest either you get a property management company to look out for the home OR a family member you can entrust to do this OR a really good neighbor - and they all get paid to do this. My mom's empty house is looked at by a neighbor and it works well as no family drama and they are able to have their kids park in my mom's driveway & check on mom's mail each day, so it's a win for all of us. Also if there still is a house, please try to start getting rid of clutter and useless items each visit you do.
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Locking up the property--this is a question I've had. My parents' home is large and lovely, and the often talk about how they want funeral luncheon to be there, in their home.....but in my mind, I'm not sure it would be safe to let 4 sibs, their spouses & kids all thru the house, possibly helping themselves to this or that... likewise I don't want luncheon at my house for them all to snoop around my stuff (to see if parents might have given me something--which they have and it's positively good since I do 97.5% of the work).
So I bettr have a locksmith out there and change garage door code right after someone passes.
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Firearms--I heard something on the news about registered firearms must be turned over to authorities within 14 days of the owner's demise, or else you can get arrested (foggy on details) may have been in NY somewhere. So might make sense to check out your local city or county reg's about transfer of firearms. My dad has a small collection mostly historical muzzleloaders and I will have to make sure it's OK to let them go to brothers, maybe there is some paperwork, I honestly don't know, but I'm Executor so will be my job.
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The crematorium or funeral home that first took the body will be able to get the death certificate. They can also help you through the process on what comes next and who is notified. Make sure you have certified copies for insurance companies etc, but also keep a could of just copies as you may need one in the future.
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In this state, the cremation society acts as the funeral home thankfully, as it is illegal to release a body to anyone not a registered FH. I won't transport mom while she's alive, much less after.
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sandwich--- who transports the body to the cremation site? Again you need a funeral director, the NH won't do it, nor can you.
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sandwich, my daughter died in Hospice, but I still needed a funeral director to publish the obit, because newspapers will not accept obits from individuals. The death certificate has to be picked up at the city clerk's office, several copies, which he did for me as well. The body went to a medical school.
She had no Will that we could find, so we had to go to court and I was appointed fiduciary, since she had bills to pay and a small amount of money. Having a Will naming an Executor is very important to deal with banks.
PhilWhi: The Guardian has no say after death. At that point the Executor is in charge of paying the bills first, and that requires waiting for all bills to come in. Here in NY I was told to wait 7 months before I distribute any funds.
Even though the estate was so small it did not need probate, I did need the advice of a lawyer about what order to pay bills in, and I did not know that I had to wait for 7 months before distributing what was left.
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My Mil just died and the cremation company handled notifying social security, medicade and giving us 4 copies of death certificate. additional copies were extra money. we were all on the checking account and our bank suggested keeping it open for a year in case any stray checks came with her name.
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Also, whoever is the trustee or executor will need to file paperwork with Social Security for the death benefit and to close out their account. You can do that yourself, but if there is more than one state involved you will need to find out where is the appropriate office; probably wherever Social Security checks if any are sent.
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If your parents are still capable of signing legal paperwork, get an appropriate lawyer to set up a trust! That eliminates probate and a whole lot of hassle. (Don't do it with someone who advertises cheap trusts.) I didn't have to do anything about the death cert myself after my husband passed, I think the hospital did that. When it's been filed, you go to the county recorder's office to get certified copies. For some things, a Xerox-type copy will work but banks, etc, require the certified copies. Talk to a good estate lawyer and they'll let you know what is required in the area where you are. If there is any property in another state you will need to file a probate in that state if there is no trust.
Good legal advice is important!
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