Not sure what state you are in, but you'd have to do your due diligence. Trust your gut instinct about the probability that these "friends" will try to break in and steal her valuables etc. Is there a local attorney you could call? Perhaps they'd give you info about what to do, over the phone or as part of a free 30-min consultation.
I found this online and it may be helpful for general purposes although it references CONNECTICUT laws:
DEATH OF TENANT - Process
This is an excerpt taken from a web site written by a local attorney, and refers to Connecticut Law on the responsibilities of the Landlord when a tenant dies in his property.
To begin, when a Tenant dies, the Landlord Must send a notice to the Tenant’s next of kin, if known. The notice must be sent by both regular and certified mail and must advise the recipient
(1) that the Tenant has died;
(2) the Landlord intends to remove the deceased Tenant’s personal effects and possession and to re-rent the premises; and
(3) if the next of kin does not reclaim the possession and personal effects of the deceased Tenant within sixty days after the date of the notice, the possessions and personal effects will be disposed of as permitted by law. The notice should be simple, clear and concise and must contain contact information (i.e. mailing address and telephone number) of the Landlord. See, Conn. Gen. Stat. §47a-11d(a).
Once the Landlord has sent the notice or, if the Landlord DOES NOT KNOW of any next of kin (or can't verify the folks who came out of the woodwork are even next of kin or any kind of kin at atll), the Landlord must file an affidavit with the local probate court.
This affidavit shall include the name and address of the deceased Tenant, the date of death, the terms of the lease (if it is a written lease, simply attach a copy of the lease to the affidavit) and the names and addresses of the next of kin, if known. Conn. Gen. Stat. §47a-11d(b). Attach a copy of the notice referenced above, if such a notice was sent.
The Landlord is now in a holding pattern for thirty days after the filing of the affidavit and should begin preparing a detailed inventory of the possessions and personal effects remaining in the premises.
On or after the thirty days, if there has been no reply to the notice or communication from next of kin, the Landlord must file the inventory with the probate court.
Fifteen days after filing the inventory, again, there having been no communication from next of kin, the Landlord may remove the possessions and personal effects; however, the items must then be stored for an additional fifteen days. Finally, after the additional fifteen days has elapsed, the Landlord can have the possessions and personal effects disposed of by a State Marshal in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. §47a-42. Conn.Gen. Stat. §47a-11d(d).
It must be noted that once a notice has been sent and/or the affidavit has been filed with the probate court, a Landlord is relieved of the obligation of filing a Notice to Quit and bringing an eviction proceeding to obtain possession of the premises. Conn.Gen.Stat. §47a-11d (c).
If, however, the Landlord is contacted by a relative or other next of kin, or a letter of administration or will is filed with the Probate Court, the procedures referenced herein cease and the Landlord will have to seek possession through the Probate Court. --184.108.40.206
I found more info on p. 307-308 of a google books Every Landlord's Legal Guide--on that page is Who Gets the Tenant's Property... http://books.google.com/books?id=WVxcxsQkyK4C&pg=PA307&lpg=PA307&dq=tenant+dies+no+next+of+kin&source=bl&ots=06fqxcKGmN&sig=h4_0B-WCp5ri7u7-SrIv_vNasd0&hl=en&ei=9lz9TO-gBIe-sQO9_KyyBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=tenant%20dies%20no%20next%20of%20kin&f=false
If that long webaddy doesn't work, google "tenant dies no next of kin" and then click on the link that will say Every Landlord's Legal Guide Google Book Result, which should be the seventh link below the search box.