Checklist

Family Tasks and Financial Checklist


The gathering of paperwork and documents at the time of a death can seem overwhelming or intimidating. We are looking for ways to serve you better and have put together some of the reminders that families have found helpful. Most of these items will be readily available, but you may need to search for others. We have grouped these items so that you can easily go down the list:

  • Find the most recent will.
  • Order certified copies of the death certificate (we will assist you with this task).
  • Locate safety deposit box and key for documents, if possible.
  • Bank statements, records-check cards.
  • Bills (current ones, needing to be paid).
  • Birth certificates of the deceased and any minor children.
  • Business ownership or partnership documents.
  • Credit cards and/or bank cards.
  • Insurance records (policies and payment receipts).
  • Loan documents (those currently in force).
  • House and property records (land titles, deeds, assessment notice, and records of rental properties).
  • Marriage certificates.
  • Military discharge papers (DD-214). 
  • Motor vehicle titles and registration.
  • Pension records.
  • Savings bonds.
  • Social Security Numbers for the deceased, survivors and minor children.
  • Stocks and bonds (certificates, names of brokers).
  • Tax records (old returns, current year).

Organize the documents according to those you need immediately to assist with the cremation arrangements. Keep the others handy for future use. Organize them in a file folder and keep them in a safe place until needed. 


Helpful Items to Remember


Based on your specific needs, the following may need completed:

  • Notify deceased's Employer and Human Resources or Insurance Department.
  • File insurance claims for each policy held.
  • Notify your home, health, business, and auto insurance companies. Cancel or change as appropriate.
  • We will notify Social Security of the death. You will have to contact Social Security about benefits, etc. (1-800-772-1213).
  • Contact the financial institutions holding the mortgage on the deceased's home or other outstanding loans.
  • Contact banks to cancel checking accounts held by the deceased or remove name.
  • Revise titles on checking/savings accounts and safety deposit boxes.
  • Transfer assets as appropriate.
  • Cancel any direct deposit payments that are made in the name of the deceased.
  • Contact the Veterans Administration (if applicable).
  • Check on monies held in credit unions.
  • Cancel credit cards and charge accounts.
  • Cancel subscriptions and memberships; Labor Unions and Fraternal Organizations.
  • Cancel medical coverage and other types of insurance on the deceased.
  • Change beneficiary on insurance policies, retirement accounts, Certificates of Deposit, savings bonds, etc.
  • Change ownership of joint or solely owned stocks and bonds.
  • Transfer or close IRA and retirement accounts or other investments managed by broker.
  • Cancel or re-direct the deceased's mail according to specific needs.
  • Cancel or re-name utility billing (including gas, water, electric, cable TV).
  • Cancel any apartment rental agreements of the deceased.
  • Check on status of deceased's automobile (payments due, insurance, etc).
  • Revise titles on deceased's car(s) or other titled property.
  • Cancel or re-direct maintenance agreements (including lawn/pool maintenance, cleaning services, or other types of regularly scheduled maintenance or service activities).

NOTE:  This is only a suggested checklist. It is not intended to replace appropriate legal or financial counsel.

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