Settling Estates online
My usual flow of life and work was sadly interrupted by the recent death of my father. While I mourn his loss tremendously and feel a huge hole in my life, I am comforted by the fact that he lived 95 healthy years and spent them, for the most part, just as he wished. I’ve never had to deal with the confusing maze of paperwork resulting from an estate and a trust before, and I found myself looking to technology to help me in this process. These are just a few of the ways it has made life a bit easier for me.
1. My father was a veteran, but I didn’t have the necessary paperwork (DD214) to allow him to have a full military funeral. I was able to apply for this form online and then simply fax a copy with my signature to the VA. When it arrives, I can then get a flag in his honor from the local Post Office, and when we bury his cremains, I can arrange for an honor guard (by email, of course) for this ceremony.
2. I emailed the cemetery in Georgia and they provided me immediately with all fees and time periods required for a burial in the family plot.
3. The county probate court has both information and downloadable forms pertaining to opening a file for probating an estate. It would have been even better if I could have emailed them back, but – alas – you must go down to the court and file them in person. I was thankful to be able to fill out the forms online in advance and then print them in the privacy of my home.
4. I created accounts online for tracking several of the stocks owned by my father. On their sites, I was also able to download and print information regarding transferring them into my own name.
5. Both life insurance companies involved had online sites with forms and information available to make this process easier.
6. After opening estate accounts, I now have online banking services, even apps for my iPhone. How neat is that !!
7. Finally, I’m using Excel on my laptop to create a spreadsheet to keep track of my activities in settling various aspects of my parents’ estates. This is a huge help since I need to keep careful account of everything relating to Probate and future tax issues.
This is a difficult and painful time, but with the help of several PRINT library books, the Internet, and my trusty laptop computer with Excel, I feel like I have a good handle on my task at hand. I’m so thankful to have the expertise in using technology that allows me to take advantage of the timesaving tools available today!
Entry filed under: Family.