Sudden deaths like those of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain can devastate family finances

Personal Finance

Secure financial and legal documents as well as important items like the deceased’s keys, wallet and phone.

Locate the will, if there is one. If an executor is named, it is his or her responsibility to lead going forward.

Having organized financial documents will help you prioritize expenses going forward, including funeral arrangements and the family budget.

“Really assess the situation and figure out the things that have to be taken care of right away,” said Mitchell Kraus, partner and financial advisor at Capital Intelligence Associates in Santa Monica, California.

Finding an expert, like an attorney or financial planner, will also be helpful.

“Someone with experience is going to be very helpful in this situation,” said Douglas Boneparth, president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York City. They can “balance the quantitative side, but also hold the hand of the grieving spouse, child or family member.”

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