1. Obtain a death certificate.
Obtain a certified death certificate from the county health department. This will be needed to transfer assets, collect benefits, and close out accounts associated with the deceased.
2. Locate a will or other applicable documents.
These may include trusts, life insurance policies, deeds of transfer to real property, etc.
3. Contact any beneficiaries identified in the will.
These may include spouses, children, other family members, or organizations. They should be notified of their entitlements and provided with a copy of the Will and death certificate.
4. Notify relevant financial institutions, such as banks and investment firms, of the death.
This step should include any banks, credit unions, online brokers, and other financial institutions that the deceased had accounts with. Provide copies of the death certificate to each institution in order to facilitate account closures or transfer of funds as necessary.
5. Notify the social security administration of the death.
This step is important for ensuring that any benefits the deceased was receiving are terminated and that any owed funds are repaid to the government. The Social Security Administration can be notified via its website or by calling them directly.
6. File for any applicable life insurance benefits.
If the deceased had a life insurance policy, contact the insurance company to start the claim process. They will need a copy of the death certificate and may request additional documents as well.
7. Prepare an inventory of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
This includes any real estate or other property owned, bank accounts, investments, debts, and any other assets and liabilities. This will determine how the estate should be divided and distributed.
8. Complete any necessary tax forms, such as filing a final income tax return for the deceased.
This may include filing a final income tax return for the deceased, as well as any estate or inheritance taxes that may be required. It is important to consult with an attorney and/or accountant to ensure all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and in a timely manner.
9. Set up estate accounts to manage cash flow during the settlement process.
These accounts can be used to manage the cash flow of the estate while it is being settled. This ensures that any debts or expenses are paid in a timely manner and that any assets are collected, liquidated, or transferred as necessary.
10. Notify creditors of the death and arrange for payment.
Any outstanding debts or loans should be paid off as soon as possible. This includes credit card debt, medical bills, mortgages, car loans, etc. Contact each creditor directly to arrange for payment. It may also be necessary to contact collection agencies if any of the accounts have gone into default.