Death Checklist

Preparation

  • You may want to consider having family members contact others to save yourself some time on the phone during a stressful period.
  • This should be done early on and all receipts and disbursements should be recorded in that bank account, in order to account properly for the assets of the Decedent and the expenses of administration.
  • Contact the Insurer with respect to any current policies or annuities.
  • If real estate is owned in more than one state, special proceedings, called "ancillary administrations," may be needed in each state.
  • If the creditors are not paid and they make a claim against the estate after all of the assets are distributed, the Personal Representative may be in trouble and held personally liable for the debt.
  • Important choices need to be made concerning such distributions and, of course, they need to be in compliance with the Will or other instructions left by the Decedent, not to mention any applicable tax laws.
  • If there is a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse and Decedent can file a joint return for the year of death.
  • If there are minor children and no guardian is appointed, or if there is no Will, then the Court must appoint a guardian.
  • There are people who look for death notices and make unfounded claims against the Decedent. Some may also attempt to burglarize the home during the funeral service. Be cautious about such matters; have someone stay at the home during the funeral service and do not easily accept the claims of unknown individuals that lack documentation.

Government organisations to contact

Financial organisations to contact

Utilities and household contacts

Other useful contacts.

Documents to review