The law offices of Hoy Sahlas LLC

Making Arrangements, Finding Documents and Sending Notice

When a loved one passes away, it can be hard to begin handling their estate. In the midst of grieving and possible family strife over inheritance, making arrangements and handling the estate affairs can be a daunting process. We’re here to help. Contact the Oak Brook Estate Attorneys today.

Photo taken by Colleen L. Sahlas

Below is a helpful list and starting point in getting organized with what to do, who to contact and what documents to find after the death of a loved one. 


Make Arrangements:

Funeral Arrangements

Obtain Death Certificates (usually the Funeral Home can assist you)

Newspaper Notification

Burial or Cremation Arrangements

Make an Appointment with Our Oak Brook Estate Attorneys who can handle the Decedent’s Estate.

Have the Attorneys who can handle the Decedent’s Estate file the Will in the Appropriate County.

Make an inventory of household goods and personal belongings the decedent owned.*

Try to discover and then make an inventory of assets the decedent owns in order that they can be accounted for and properly distributed.*

*In handling the affairs of a Decedent, do not be quick to make distributions to family members or friends of the Decedent. Contact our Oak Brook Estate Attorneys who can represent you in handling the decedent’s estate to determine whether probate needs to be opened.  Important choices need to be made concerning such distributions and, of course, they need to be in compliance with applicable estate and tax laws, the decedent’s last Will, and the Probate Court.

Persons to Notify: 

  • Insurance Agents
  • The Decedent’s Attorney
  • Attorneys to Handle the Decedents Estate 
  • Accountant
  • Brokerage Firms
  • Financial Planner or Investment Advisor
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Health Care Agents (health, dental, vision, medical, etc.)
  • Asset Holders
  • Social Security Administration
  • Veteran’s Administration 
  • Professional Associations, Religious Associations, Clubs, Schools, Unions, Fraternal Groups


Documents to Locate and Have Available: 

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Any Living Trust or Testamentary Trust
  • Safety Deposit Box Keys 
  • Nuptial Agreements
  • Letters to the Executor from the Decedent
  • Death Certificates
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Medical Records
  • Military Records
  • Divorce Decrees
  • Legal Name Change Decrees
  • Bank Records
  • Income Tax Records
  • Stock Certificates
  • Bonds
  • Real Estate Deeds
  • Automobile Title/Registration 
  • Notes Receivable
  • Insurance Policies
  • Annuity Contracts
  • Leases
  • Business Interest or Ownership Documentation
  • Documentation of Assets