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By Jason Carrozza

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday!!! I hope you all had a lovely Fourth of July. We took some down time at FLP this week to enjoy the holiday and rejuvenate. With only so many days of summer, it was nice to spend time with family and friends on our independence day.

This week, we are talking about necessary documents to locate after somebody passes. After a death, it’s important to locate necessary paperwork prior to attempting estate administration. Before you consult with an estate planning attorney, here is a list of items that we suggest you locate in order to make the process less burdensome:

  • Asset information:
    • Copies of account statements: bank, retirement, and brokerage accounts
    • Life insurance policies
    • Deeds on all properties
    • Automobile titles
    • Pension information

Sometimes it’s difficult to find this information. However, it is necessary to estimate the value of one’s estate prior to opening probate or administering a trust.

  • Bills: credit cards, utilities, mortgage, taxes, medical, anything outstanding
  • Loans

Debts need to be assessed, paid off, and/or settled.

  • Business Documents
    • Corporation, LLC, or partnership agreements
    • Business banking statements
    • Business loans
  • All Estate planning documents: Last Will and Testament and any codicils, any Trusts and any amendments
  • A copy of the death certificate – we recommend ordering between 8-10 copies

Having as much of this information prior to an initial consultation will streamline any administration process and will result in quicker administration. We work diligently with all of our clients to ensure that all of their information is in one place. Emphasis on organization is key. However, we understand that people may not always be the most organized and that life happens.

If you know that it is going to be you in charge of an estate administration please try to gather as much information from that person while they are still here and are competent. A little due diligence and organization now can save you hours of time in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about our organization process, or if you know of any trusted friends or colleagues who are attempting to administer an estate, please have them contact us and we’d be happy to assist them.

Until next time,

About the Author
Jason M. Carrozza is a partner and founder of Family Legal Partners, P.C., previously owning Carrozza Law Office, P.C., which focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business formation. He was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016, an honor given to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. Graduating magna cum laude from New England Law and ranked 3rd in his class, Jason completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He gained experience in civil litigation, divorce, corporate, and insurance defense law firms before opening his practice in 2004. Jason is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Courts, is a trained family law mediator, and a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He has volunteered for pro bono panels with Senior Partners For Justice, South Middlesex Legal Services, and the New Center for Legal Advocacy. Dedicated to his community, he has served in various leadership roles including vice president of the Bellingham Business Association and Master of Excelsior Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. He teaches Estate Planning Basics at the Tri County Continuing Adult Education program and speaks at estate planning seminars throughout the year. An avid baseball fan and history enthusiast, Jason enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Zachary and Madelyn.