1. Obtain a death certificate.
A death certificate is an official document that verifies the passing of an individual and provides important information related to their death, such as the cause of death, date of death, place of death, and other details. Obtaining a death certificate is typically done through the funeral home or medical certifier in the county or state where the deceased passed away.
2. Contact the deceased’s employer or union.
If the deceased was employed at the time of their death, contact their former workplace to inform them of the passing and begin gathering any documents related to employee benefits. This includes pension plans, 401ks, stock options, life insurance policies, etc. that may be due to beneficiaries upon the death of an employee.
3. Check for life insurance policies, pensions, and/or annuities.
It is important to check for any life insurance policies and other benefits provided by employers or unions that may have been in place prior to the individual's passing. This includes pensions and annuities that may have been set up to provide support for family members after the individual has passed away.
4. Notify Social Security Administration of the death.
Notifying the Social Security Administration of an individual's passing is important in order to ensure that any benefits due to the deceased are not lost or forgotten about. This includes survivor benefits, disability payments, and other eligible funds that may be owed to the deceased or their beneficiaries upon their death.
5. Notify any creditors of the deceased.
It is important to notify any creditors of the deceased so that they can close out accounts and no longer hold them financially responsible for any outstanding debts or payments. This ensures that family members are not held liable for any unpaid bills or liabilities left behind by the deceased.
6. File for any applicable benefits such as veterans’ benefits or survivor benefits.
If the deceased was a veteran, it is important to file for any applicable veterans' benefits that may be available to the family or beneficiary of the individual. This includes survivor and dependent benefits, death pensions, and other eligible funds that are due from the Veterans Administration upon the death of an individual.
7. Contact banks, investment companies, and other financial institutions to cancel accounts.
It is important to contact all relevant financial institutions in order to close out accounts associated with the deceased. This includes banks, credit unions, stock brokers, and other entities where funds were being held by the individual at their time of passing.
8. Make arrangements with a funeral home and/or cemetery.
It is important to make arrangements with a funeral home and/or cemetery in order to ensure that the body of the deceased is properly taken care of and memorialized. This includes making decisions about funeral services, burial sites, caskets, headstones, cremation services, etc.
9. Begin making arrangements to settle the estate, if necessary.
In the event that the estate of a deceased individual needs to be settled, it is important to begin making necessary arrangements in order to ensure that any debts or assets owed are taken care of and distributed according to their wishes. This includes filing for probate and other legal procedures related to settling an estate.
10. Gather important documents (wills, trusts, etc.) and keep them in a safe place.
It is important to gather any relevant documents related to the individual's estate in order to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled. This includes wills, trusts, power of attorney documents, and other important papers that will be needed during the process of settling an estate. Once gathered, it is important to store these documents in a safe place for easy access when needed.