Life's Important Moments: The Death of a Loved One

| June 28, 2024 | By

When you’re navigating the death of a loved one, there are thousands of emotions, plans, and thoughts going through your head. There are people to comfort, hands to hold, and feelings to be felt. 

We firmly believe that financial responsibilities should not be at the top of your mind during this difficult time. Yet, unfortunately, even when you’re dealing with profound emotional pain, there may be end-of-life logistics you’ll need to handle. 

That’s where your local community bank can be of assistance. We’re here to offer compassionate support and timely services during difficult times, guiding you through the practical steps that follow a significant loss.


Understanding the (Full) Impact of the Death of a Loved One

When someone we love dies, that event brings with it emotional and logistical challenges. 

Grief itself can be overwhelming and paralyzing. The sudden financial responsibilities you may experience shouldn’t add to your stress, but avoiding that stress does require some planning. 


The Emotional and Financial Toll of Grieving 

When family members die, it’s not uncommon for household income to drop (especially if you lose a spouse). Even if a loss of income doesn’t impact your personal finances, you may face the sudden need to come up with thousands of dollars if you’re involved with burial and funeral expenses. 

And, of course, there’s the matter of managing your loved one’s estate (e.g., making decisions about any property they owned or handling life insurance or wills). 

This is a lot to manage. Even if you have the expertise to wade through it, you shouldn’t have to. This is a time you need to spend with your community. 


Navigating Financial Affairs After the Death of a Loved One

Here’s a breakdown of the typical steps involved in managing the death of a loved one from a financial perspective. 


Assistance with Estate Settlement

Settling an estate involves managing assets, closing accounts, and handling outstanding debts. 

This requires a lot of know-how and detailed oversight of logistics, including: 

  • Taking inventory of all assets, including bank accounts, real estate, investments, and personal property.
  • Assessing all liabilities, such as outstanding debts and loans.
  • Notifying banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions of the death.
  • Closing or transferring ownership of the deceased’s bank accounts and credit cards.
  • Paying off any outstanding debts using the estate’s funds before distributing assets to heirs.

Our knowledgeable staff can guide you through these steps, providing personalized assistance to ensure all financial matters are handled sensitively and efficiently.


Expertise in Probate and Trust Services

Probate and trust services can seem confusing and complex, but these systems are in place to help you achieve security and peace of mind. Here’s a quick breakdown: 

  • Probate refers to the legal process of validating a will and administering the deceased's estate. It may involve court supervision to ensure the proper distribution of assets.
  • Trust services refer to the management of assets placed in a trust, which can bypass the probate process. These services ensure the deceased’s wishes are carried out according to the trust’s terms.

Having professionals to help you handle these processes reduces your mental burden and provides the confidence and peace of mind of knowing everything has been handled properly. 


Safeguarding Your Loved One’s Legacy

One aspect of managing a loved one's death is ensuring that any wealth they have built is managed according to their wishes. This involves careful management and safekeeping of important documents and assets.

Just a few practical tips to handle this set of tasks include: 

  • Ensuring that all essential documents—insurance policies, deeds, and wills—are stored safely for easy accessibility. 
  • Researching and possibly opening a safe deposit box to securely store those important documents and protect them from theft, loss, and damage.
  • Taking time to reassess and update any financial plans (whether they’re your daily budget plans or any relevant long-term retirement decisions). 

Tackling these tasks requires an aptitude for budgeting, investment planning, and retirement planning. They also require a clear mind and dedicated focus—both of which may be in short order immediately after the death of a loved one. 

We understand, and we’re here to help


Rely on Your Community Bank for Support in Times of Need 

If you’re experiencing the death of a loved one, allow your local community bank to provide assistance so you can spend less time on probate and trust services and more time with your family. 

At BNC National Bank, we are committed to offering compassionate and comprehensive support at all times, but particularly during life’s important moments. Please reach out to our team with any questions you have, or let us know if there’s anything we can do to support you.