A successful estate plan starts with a clear understanding of the client's goals, as well as their current and projected finances.
When a loved one has passed away, we can help you to determine if an estate needs to be "opened" on their behalf.
When a Loved One Passes Away: Navigating the Process of Handling a Decedent's Estate
By Colleen Bratkovich, Esquire
As Elder Law Attorneys, we work with clients in various stages of age and illness progression, including the families of clients after a loved one has passed away. Many times, these family members are concerned with what needs to be done immediately after their loved one’s passing. This booklet lays out the responsibilities of the executor of the estate and also details the first steps to take when a loved one has passed away, including a determination of whether an estate needs to be “opened” on their behalf.
What People Are Saying
Knowledgeable, experienced, responsible and reliable. The complexities of long term care are overwhelming and making wrong decisions can be devastating. Highly recommend Zacharia Brown.
~ Mary R.
We've used Zacharia Brown PC for our wills and powers of attorney, to aid in obtaining additional support from the Veterans Administration for my Mom, and to guide us through the probate process when she passed. We cannot be more appreciative of their care, competence and comfort.
~ Kathleen Y.
My experience with Christine Brown Murphy was wonderful. She helped me and my sons through a very difficult time when my husband needed pending placement in a skilled nursing facility. She and her staff guided us through the myriads of paperwork necessary for this to happen, and gave us, along with sound legal direction, much needed emotional support. I am eternally grateful to Zacharia Brown for leading us through this nightmare. I recommend Christine and her firm to anyone who needing an elder law attorney. She's the best!
~ Valerie L.
It has been a pleasure to work with Colleen Bratkovich on a variety of issues concerning my mom, including obtaining veteran's benefits. Colleen is professional, easy to talk to and does a great job explaining information and options available in each case. She is prompt in responding back to any questions I have had in this entire process. Colleen made the work involved in this process minimal on my end, all the while staying in touch with me about where we were in the process. I am grateful for her help and feel a huge relief of stress as I am planning for my mom's future care and finances. I would highly recommend Colleen and her firm for any eldercare needs anyone would have.
~ Cheryl G.
Carl is simply the best when it comes to navigating the laws surrounding skilled nursing facilities, Medicare, Medicaid, prepaid funeral expenses, life insurance and all of the other issues of elder law. When my aging parents' health deteriorated rapidly and were no longer independent, Carl was there to guide us through every step of the process. Carl was always available to answer our questions about the very confusing Medicare/Medicaid laws. Carl is familiar with the local SNF's and the case workers at Medicaid which helped resolve coverage issues as they arose. There is no way we could have done this on our own. Carl really lowered our stress level in an otherwise very stressful situation. Carl also guided my mother and father-in-law as they arranged their prepaid funeral expenses and, more recently, helped us with my father-in-law's failing health issues and hospice care/final wishes. Can't thank Carl enough.
~ Gene P.
I was referred to Zacharia Brown by another attorney and from my first call, was treated extremely well. We were directed to Christine Brown, scheduled quickly for a consult and within a few short visits were able to execute the estate planning needed to protect our family. Highly knowledgeable, listened and understood our goals, communicative throughout the process and very efficient to execute. Well done!
~ Joe A.
Our mother passed away in February 2018, and we required assistance in closing down her estate. A good friend of ours lost his father a few years earlier and recommended Zacharia Brown, and Colleen Bratkovich in particular. Colleen was very personable, knowledgeable and professional; she made the process a great deal less stressful than we thought it would be. We believe she maximized the amount of money we were able to receive from the estate, considering our unique circumstances. I would recommend Colleen for anyone who requires estate planning or administration; we will do so for anyone who inquires about these services.
~ Stephen R.
My father had a stroke back in 2017. The nursing home he was admitted to neglected him and intentionally filed his Medicaid paperwork incorrectly. I was told to go to Zacharia Brown to help me handle this situation. Carl Zacharia has been a blessing ever since our first meeting. He truly cares about the well beings of the elderly and I couldn’t have found a better attorney. My father's case was settled and he didn’t have to pay a dime to the nursing home. I am truly grateful for Carl and his law firm.
~ Victor L.
Carl Zacharia was a fantastic individual and attorney. Carl was very professional during the whole process and made me feel so comfortable. Carl knew the insides and outs on this case and I felt going in to my case that we were going to prevail and we sure did. I would recommend him to anyone anywhere in whatever case that comes your way. Carl, thank you for everything you are simply the best.
~ Steve R.
My wife and I met with Justin Ellis of Zacharia Brown several times over a couple of months. We believe Justin provided first rate advise and services regarding our estate planning. Specifically, Justin guided us through the process of constructing our Will, Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney/Living Will documents. His help and assistance was invaluable. I would highly recommend Justin to any of my friends or family.
~ Patrick M.
Christine and Joyce put my concerns about the Medicaid process and protecting my funds when my husband was diagnosed with dementia and went into Asbury Heights. I often asked for my son and daughter to take part and it was always welcomed, and they were super impressed too! Christine and Joyce were always prompt with their responses to my many questions. I have recommended them to several people!!
~ Donna H.