As an Orange County Probate Attorney, I know that handling the legal end of a loved one’s death can seem nearly impossible, especially when you are grieving. Figuring out what documents you need and why can be even tougher. But the collection of the proper documents is something that needs to be done after a loved one passes away.

As an attorney who handles estate and probate issues in Orange County on a regular basis, I understand that this task is not an easy one, especially when you are dealing with the emotion of your loss. We are sorry that you have to go through this difficult time.

That is why we have created a checklist of the paperwork you’ll need to handle the estate. It is important to keep this information secure at all times, and it is not a bad idea to use a lockbox to store these documents when they are not in use.

Your loved one’s documents:

– Certified copies of the decedent’s birth certificate, death certificate, and marriage certificate

– Divorce decree(s) from all previous marriages

– Will or trust papers

– Insurance policies

– List of assets (house, car, jewelry, etc.)

– Bank account numbers

– Social security card or number (for both you and the deceased)

– Credit card numbers and statements

– Deeds to any real estate

– Tax return from the previous year

If you need help gathering any of these documents or have questions about why they are needed, contact our Orange County probate office at (949) 260-1400 to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.