Determination of Death

The first step after someone dies involves contacting the authorities to report the death.  This typically involves contacting local law enforcement to notify them of the death.  This step is usually not necessary if a physician was in attendance at the time of death, such as when someone dies in a hospital.  

A report of death must be made within 24 hours of death.  The coroner, Justice of the Peace, or attending physician is authorized to make a determination of death.  

After this, one has to consider how to dispose of the decedent’s body or remains, arrange for the funeral and last expenses, locate information needed for the probate process, obtain death certificates, decide whether to hire a probate attorney, and how to secure the decedent’s property and whether a temporary probate administration is needed.

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