In the weeks and months following a death, there is still a lot to do. Checklists like the one below can help get you started and keep you organized.
Thank you notes: make sure to thank all the friends who reached out to you to offer assistance during this time
Contact an estate attorney, accountant, and probate court, if applicable. Just as a funeral director can help relieve the burden of planning your loved one’s memorialization and necessary paperwork, consulting an experienced professional for estate and financial matters can be a (great) source for valuable peace of mind.
Contact the Social Security Administration or any other programs that may have been making payments to the decedent. If the decedent was your spouse, inquire about your eligibility for new benefits.
Cancel any prescriptions and make sure all old prescriptions are disposed of properly. There are drop boxes for expired and unused prescription medications at the police department.
Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel deceased’s drivers license and transfer titles of all registered vehicles.
If the deceased’s home is unoccupied, you may be responsible for any mortgage or rent payments, even if you’re waiting for probate. Contact the decedent’s mortgage company or landlord, and cancel any unnecessary services such as newspaper delivery, cable, etc.
Contact the deceased’s employer. Inquire about any 401 (k), pension, or company benefits that the decedent may be entitled to.
Notify the Registrar of Voters.
If your loved one was a veteran, inquire about benefits that you may be entitled to through the VA.
Notify all 3 credit reporting agencies and obtain a current copy of the deceased’s credit report.
If the death was accidental, verify whether benefits are available on existing insurance policies. Also check for any life insurance benefits available through existing credit card or loan accounts.
Here are some further links to checklists for what to do if the decedent is your parent or if you are the estate executor (or named administrator by the probate court):
An Executor’s Checklist by Gail Rubin: https://agoodgoodbye.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/AGG-Executor%E2%80%99s-Checklist.pdf
What to do when a parent dies, from Capital One: https://www.capitalone.com/bank/money-management/death/what-to-do-when-parent-dies/