From wills to debts - How to manage finances after a parent's death

First Published 11, Sep 2017, 12:00 PM IST
Financial tasks to do if a parent passes away
Highlights
  • Losing a parent is probably one of the toughest things to cope with
  • However, there are some very important financial tasks that must be accomplished after the death of a parents
  • Here’s a guide to help you with the essential financial tasks

Losing a parent is probably one of the toughest things to cope with. The grief can leave you emotionally drained out for a very long time. However, there are some very important financial tasks that must be accomplished after the death of a parent.While getting finances in order at such a time might be overwhelming, it’s your duty to take care of the wealth you have inherited from your parents. You wouldn’t want the wealth your parents have accumulated over the years to get wasted.

If you are bogged down with questions such as where to start, how to transfer or close an investment or manage important financial documents, here’s a guide to help you with the essential financial tasks.

Getting The Death Certificate, Will Or Succession Certificate

Death certificate is a very important legal document required during any financial transaction like transferring of assets, closing an account etc of the deceased person.It is important to note here that the details in the death certificate should match with the document proofs given by your parent. A mismatch could result in rejection of your requests to update or close the official records. Since, death certificate would be an important document after demise of a parent, make sure you have multiple copies of the same.

A will made by your parent will help you settle all the issues related to inheritance. Even if parents had appointed a nominee for certain movable assets, the will would prevail over all such nominations.

In the absence of nomination and will, you need to apply for a succession certificate that can be used only to transfer the movable property in the name of the successor.

Collect All Financial Documents And Records

There could be a possibility that your parents may have not shared all the necessary information with you regarding financial matters. Check all the papers and diaries of the parent to find out financial information such as debt, investments, etc.

Segregate Investment, Debtors And Liabilities

To be in complete control of the situation, it is crucial to know the exact detail of investment, debtors and liabilities that would come into your account after the demise of the parent. This may affect your present financial situation. This would also help you in handling correct orfalse claims on debts or loan.

Another way to extract out important details is through analysing past 5 years bank statement. You can also take the help of a financial expert like CA to get the details from various sources.

Inform, Close Or Shift Various Accounts

It is very important to immediately close all the key accounts otherwise it can be misused by hackers and cheaters. Some important financial accounts that you need to close are discussed below.

Bank Account, Locker, Loan And Credit Cards

The bank account of the parent should be closed after his/her demise. You should submit an application to close the account along with the death certificate and detail of the will/nominee etc. to transfer the balance fund. Similarly, the locker can be accessed with relevant document and closed once belongings are taken out.

Credit card should be closed with immediate effect to avoid misuse. Loan account should be cleared by approaching the institution to avoid legal action for debt recovery from the legal heirs. After paying off the loan, do not forget to take the original documents no due certificate from the bank.

Immovable Property

You must get the immovable properties such as a car or motorcycle transferred into your name by producing a requisite document along with an application to the RTO office. This move will also helpyou with reselling of the vehicle.

Investments

Investments like Mutual Funds, fixed deposits, shares and postal saving schemes should be immediately updated. You may need a death certificate along with the requisite form and investment detail to get the amount in the nominee’s account and in the absence of nominee you may need to submit the succession certificate along with the application.

Along with steps to address the issues related to above mentioned financial matters, you must change the billing name in utility services and name in local municipality registration. All the social media accounts and email IDs should be closed. Update the business ownership detail with indirect tax department and other related authorities.  Also, close the PAN card after filing the final return.

(The author is CEO of Bank Bazaar)

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