[Need Advice] Mom passed away and held all the cards

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If your mom was handling the aunts estate you probably need to contact the court to tell them that mom has died and get you or someone else listed as the new executer as well as have any court date pushed back for the closing of the estate. You also need to check for your mom’s 401k, ira, and/or if she had stocks or anything.


I don’t have much practical advice to offer except that you may need to order many copies of your mom’s death certificate to close or access accounts that were in her name. Lots of places will only accept originals, not copies. Wishing you and your family all the best, it sounds like you are trying to support and hold up so many different family members, and I hope you remember to take moments to breathe and look after yourself, too. It might even be helpful to let your Dad help and support you in some ways, too, if that’s something that would be important to him and/or a purpose for him to focus on when he’s grieving.


First, my condolences, and prayers for your family. There is a lot, and it must feel incredibly overwhelming. Take your time, grieve for your mother, and come together as a family. After that is all done properly, I would start by learning all of the bills/expenses- mortgage, utilities, vehicle, any credit cards, etc. and how they are paid. It being the start of a new month helps in this regard. Just figure them out, and make sure they get paid, for now. After that, I’d move on to the insurance questions, and finding out if there was a will (usually setup to go straight to spouse, but find out). From there, I’d start trying to find out the situation with your aunt’s estate. Guessing there was a ‘contingency/secondary’ executor for a situation like this. If anything from your aunt maybe coming to your father, it may change your longer term steps. So, for that reason, as well as not knowing how much time you, your father, and sister are going to need, I would avoid any major changes, like selling things, for at least a few months. Not to mention, you have a big – joyful!! – event in a few short months. Stay strong, and you and your family will come through this.


For the benefits and insurance stuff, you should ask your mom’s work. When my mom passed, someone in HR walked me through everything.


Sister probably has coverage until the end of the month through your mom. Not sure if COBRA could be purchased in this situation. Have her apply for ACA coverage as soon as possible. She is probably eligible for income based subsidies. Have your dad make a meeting with someone from mom’s HR to go over the details of her benefits through work.