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Old 07-20-2016, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Alaska
417 posts, read 202,041 times
Reputation: 806

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I don't understand why people die young, it's not fair. We got the news today that my husbands dad died, he was found in his car at work unresponsive. Although we live in Alaska now he was super close to his dad we have to go back to Wisconsin. My heart is so sad. I don't know what to do, this is the first person in my adult life, that I've been close to that's died. I have no idea what to do.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,535 posts, read 3,003,976 times
Reputation: 9413
The immediate family should be on top of it. What you should do is be supportive of your husband and be a shoulder when he needs it.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Alaska
417 posts, read 202,041 times
Reputation: 806
My husband was the first to be notified and was the only next of kin. He has to make all the decisions since he is the only one it is very stressful and his dad had no plans if something like this were to happen because he was so young
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,535 posts, read 3,003,976 times
Reputation: 9413
Okay, that makes a difference. Does your husband want an open casket funeral or cremation? Cremation is easier. This past weekend we held a memorial for my son, which was beautiful.

If your father in law had a will depicting what he wanted, this will make things easier. These are things you will have to check into. Hopefully he left instructions with his lawyer or his doctor.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,867 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 56974
I'm very sorry for your loss and I know this must be difficult for both of you.

1. Book flights to Wisconsin. I would recommend staying in a hotel.

2. Call the funeral home and schedule an appointment. The hospital can tell you which funeral home he is at.

3. The funeral home will have every sort of option to present to you - honestly they handle just about everything, or have a way to do it.

4. Meet with a family law attorney there - the funeral home can probably recommend one. If you don't know if there's a will, the attorney will do a will search. If you know there's a will, find it. Dad's keys will probably be with his possessions he had with him at the time of death. Let yourself into his home and look for the will. DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING FROM THE HOME AT THIS POINT if you don't know if there's a will or what it says.

5. The funeral home can check with Dad's bank and email them a bill for the funeral. Then the bank can cut a check made out directly to the funeral home for the cost of the funeral. Get the itemized bill from the funeral home first if there's any doubt about how much money is in the bank - the bank manager will probably tell you whether or not there's enough money deposited to cover the cost of the funeral.

6. Regardless of how you pay for it, SAVE ALL RECEIPTS including the receipts for your travel expenses. Even if there are other beneficiaries to the estate, your expenses need to be billed to the estate before the estate is settled. Your travel expenses may be covered - ask the attorney.

If there is no will and there is only one child and no wife, then in most states the entire estate will go to the one heir. But before that happens, a will search needs to be performed by the family law attorney. Those expenses can also be billed to the estate.

The funeral home will order death certificates - and believe me you will need them - I would recommend getting at least ten and probably fifteen or twenty depending on whether or not your FIL had many assets. Most creditors, lenders, banks, insurance, investment, mineral rights, etc holders will need to see a copy of the death certificate before any information can be released. If your husband is not on any accounts (for instance as Payable Upon Death to him, or as a beneficiary or co owner) then the attorney will need to tell you what your state laws are regarding those accounts.

Regardless, you need to contact every account/lender/policy that you can find (when you're at his house) and let them know that he has passed away. Your attorney can tell you how to handle debts and that sort of thing.

You will also need to find out how much pay from his job is owed to him. And be sure and ask about accrued vacation or sick leave and any life insurance policies.

I don't envy you for the job you have ahead of you. But you'll get through it. Just remember - meet with:

1. Funeral home
2. Attorney
3. His employer

Hopefully your FIL kept all of his bills and personal papers in one location. That sure would make things a lot easier.

You may also be able to have all of his mail forwarded to you. Ask the attorney how to handle that.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Alaska
417 posts, read 202,041 times
Reputation: 806
Quote:
Originally Posted by meo92953 View Post
Okay, that makes a difference. Does your husband want an open casket funeral or cremation? Cremation is easier. This past weekend we held a memorial for my son, which was beautiful.

If your father in law had a will depicting what he wanted, this will make things easier. These are things you will have to check into. Hopefully he left instructions with his lawyer or his doctor.
I am sorry about your son.
We don't know what he wanted he never talked about it, we are cremating him though because we wouldn't have enough room on the plot if we buried him, which sounds awful.
Unfortunately he did not have a will, it is very difficult because he had a lot of "stuff" but a lot of it was at his sisters and girlfriends house so we are going to have to make sure my husband gets what he wants. My husband wants some antique guns, a few boats and a bunch of old boat motors I am worried that we won't be able to get them from Wisconsin to Alaska and I don't want anyone's grab hands on them.

Last edited by ffaemily; 07-20-2016 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Alaska
417 posts, read 202,041 times
Reputation: 806
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm very sorry for your loss and I know this must be difficult for both of you.

1. Book flights to Wisconsin. I would recommend staying in a hotel.

2. Call the funeral home and schedule an appointment. The hospital can tell you which funeral home he is at.

3. The funeral home will have every sort of option to present to you - honestly they handle just about everything, or have a way to do it.

4. Meet with a family law attorney there - the funeral home can probably recommend one. If you don't know if there's a will, the attorney will do a will search. If you know there's a will, find it. Dad's keys will probably be with his possessions he had with him at the time of death. Let yourself into his home and look for the will. DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING FROM THE HOME AT THIS POINT if you don't know if there's a will or what it says.

5. The funeral home can check with Dad's bank and email them a bill for the funeral. Then the bank can cut a check made out directly to the funeral home for the cost of the funeral. Get the itemized bill from the funeral home first if there's any doubt about how much money is in the bank - the bank manager will probably tell you whether or not there's enough money deposited to cover the cost of the funeral.

6. Regardless of how you pay for it, SAVE ALL RECEIPTS including the receipts for your travel expenses. Even if there are other beneficiaries to the estate, your expenses need to be billed to the estate before the estate is settled. Your travel expenses may be covered - ask the attorney.

If there is no will and there is only one child and no wife, then in most states the entire estate will go to the one heir. But before that happens, a will search needs to be performed by the family law attorney. Those expenses can also be billed to the estate.

The funeral home will order death certificates - and believe me you will need them - I would recommend getting at least ten and probably fifteen or twenty depending on whether or not your FIL had many assets. Most creditors, lenders, banks, insurance, investment, mineral rights, etc holders will need to see a copy of the death certificate before any information can be released. If your husband is not on any accounts (for instance as Payable Upon Death to him, or as a beneficiary or co owner) then the attorney will need to tell you what your state laws are regarding those accounts.

Regardless, you need to contact every account/lender/policy that you can find (when you're at his house) and let them know that he has passed away. Your attorney can tell you how to handle debts and that sort of thing.

You will also need to find out how much pay from his job is owed to him. And be sure and ask about accrued vacation or sick leave and any life insurance policies.

I don't envy you for the job you have ahead of you. But you'll get through it. Just remember - meet with:

1. Funeral home
2. Attorney
3. His employer

Hopefully your FIL kept all of his bills and personal papers in one location. That sure would make things a lot easier.

You may also be able to have all of his mail forwarded to you. Ask the attorney how to handle that.
Thank you for this response it was so nice and made me feel a lot better! He did not keep everything in one location, we are now not able to find his military discharge papers which is devastating because he wanted a military funeral. He did not have a will but since he was an only child and only married once you are right all the possessions should go to him. I will tell him about an attorney I never thought we needed. I am so glad you responded, I would have never thought of asking about outstanding pay his job owed him.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,867 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 56974
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffaemily View Post
Thank you for this response it was so nice and made me feel a lot better! He did not keep everything in one location, we are now not able to find his military discharge papers which is devastating because he wanted a military funeral. He did not have a will but since he was an only child and only married once you are right all the possessions should go to him. I will tell him about an attorney I never thought we needed. I am so glad you responded, I would have never thought of asking about outstanding pay his job owed him.
No problem - we went through this recently with both my husband's parents (in just four months). So it's all fresh on my mind. It's tough.

Ask the attorney or the funeral home, or call the local VA chapter about the military service. Lots of people can't locate military papers but BELIEVE ME, the military has a record of his service and terms of discharge.

As for his scattered possessions, does he have any documentation at his home regarding these items? Even if you can't find it, I think I would say something like, "Wow, I'm so grateful he kept such good records about his personal effects and purchases," to the relatives. Those items belong to your husband if he didn't give them as gifts to others. If they are items of value, he needs to get those.

However, it doesn't sound like he was all that close to his dad. At times like this, you can certainly be magnanimous with family members and friends. If you think he would want someone to have something, give it to them. What does it hurt? That's one less thing to haul back to Alaska. And it's all just things.

It does sound like you may need to rent a UHaul and make a drive. Wow, what a hassle. When my parents pass away, we will have to do that as well. I'm not really looking forward to it.

Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:39 AM
 
2,581 posts, read 3,140,332 times
Reputation: 6694
I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.

It would be great if you could help you husband keep a list of the things that need to be taken care of. It is a lot. But for now, focus on the great suggestions Kathyrn gave you.

Remember that ultimately, funerals/services are for the living. Don't make yourself crazy thinking about / wondering about what your FIL would have wanted. He probably hadn't even thought very much about it! What is more important is what your son and his family want (and can manage...) now.

Things are a bit complicated if he has a girlfriend, and was possibly ?living with her (you said his stuff was with her). Please try to be respectful of her loss and needs too, as this may be a terrible time for her. We don't know how serious their relationship was, but perhaps you do. And since he may not have left a will...

Get a lot of Death Certificates. I favor 15-20.

I would also contact the VA to ask about any benefits he qualifies for towards his burial. There may be monies they will contribute, possibly a medalion that can be placed on his headstone etc...

He may have a life insurance benefit through his employer.

Eventually, there will be many financial things to take care of, and the lawyer should help ask about that. Auto-bills/monthly bills to stop and/or pay. Credit cards to cancel. Insurance to cancel. Cable/cell-phone/other utilities to cancel. But obviously, keep utilities/rent being paid as appropriate. Figure out if house/car payments are needed and/or if they are paid off, how to change titles down the road. These things are not urgent to do now, but should be kept in mind because you live so far away.

It is a hard time. Sometimes having a list, keeping busy etc.. actually helps you get through it.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,089 posts, read 10,604,044 times
Reputation: 13438
I'm sorry for your loss. You've gotten a lot of good advice here, but one thing I didn't see is any mention of Social Security. We don't know his age, but it's worth looking into. The same with searching for life insurance.


Also contact the state treasurer's office to see if there is any unclaimed property in his name--you might be surprised.
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