Bring These Documents To Your Lawyer When Mom or Dad Passes away

Experiences and memories matter much more than things; and time with loved ones, especially in their winter season of life, is precious. As parents age wisdom tells us to cherish as much time as we can with them by having more conversations, taking more pictures and creating new memories. Preparation and organization translate to saving time and avoiding unnecessary stress.

As the philosopher William Penn wrote “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

In some cases, the passing of our parents comes more quickly than anticipated and assuming the role of executor of your parent’s will has both administrative and emotional demands. In addition, the process can be intimidating.

Documents needed after parents passKnowing and understanding these responsibilities is the first step to being prepared for the dreaded time when you must cope with the loss and the added burden of overseeing the administration of an Estate. Having a legal expert to offer guidance and strategies whether pre-emptive or throughout the process will help you navigate these responsibilities with greater ease.

At PSH Lawyers we can offer advice and support. We will guide you step by step through a process that may take a minimum of 6 months to several years to complete. We can help you administer your parent’s Estate confidently and correctly so that you will have more time to deal with your loss with family and friends.

Here are some suggestions to ease your burden and some ideas as to what you should bring with you when meeting with your lawyer:


Talk to your parents while they are still living to try to understand what they feel your role should be in handling their Estate. Open and honest conversations can foster a deeper sense of connection and bring you closer. Conversation topics may be cremation or burial wishes, heirlooms, plans for pets or personal property.

After your parents have passed:

  • Locate the Will and other important documents.
  • Health Card, Social Insurance Card and Driver’s License
  • Statements for current bank and investment accounts
  • Ownership for real estate and vehicles
  • Locate, inventory and maintain your parent’s property.
  • Obtain copies of the Death Certificate. You’ll need several copies.
  • Create a list of creditors, life insurance policies and pension and benefits providers.

Determine if probate is necessary.

A probate is the official “proving of a will”. The court process of collecting and distributing assets to the beneficiaries. When parents have put their assets into joint ownership probate may be avoided. Depending on the complexity of the Estate and assets involved, probate can take several months to several years.

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