Getting through the first few days after a loved one’s death can be very challenging. You’re not just dealing with the emotions of the loss. You’re taking on the responsibility of settling your loved one’s affairs, managing end-of-life services and dealing with legal documents.
Request That Mail Be Forwarded
Over the last week you or another close relative have probably been collecting the deceased’s mail. Now is the time to notify the USPS that the mail needs to be forwarded to another address. In order to forward the mail you’ll need to provide the local post office with documentation showing you can legally act on behalf of the estate.
File Away Important Documents
Any documents that are related to your loved one’s death or the funeral services should be filed away in a waterproof/fireproof lockbox. It’s also a good idea to create screen captures that can be used when you don’t need original documentation.
Sign Up for the Deceased Do Not Contact List
If requested the name of a deceased person should be removed from marketing lists. You can add your loved one’s name to the Deceased Do Not Contact List (DDNC) for free, but it can take up to a month or so for the contact to completely stop.
If your loved one had debt when they passed away the accounts will need to be settled. That’s not something that you need to worry about immediately, but it does need to be handled sooner rather than later. Oftentimes, debts will be paid by the estate before assets are given to beneficiaries.
A public posting of a notice to creditors is used to notify creditors that they can submit bills that will be paid for by the estate. Local law will specify how notifications should be handled.
Contact the Social Security Administration
You must contact the Social Security Administration to inform them of the death. In many cases, as it is with Green Cremation Texas, this is taken care of by the funeral home or crematorium but always verify. The Social Security Administration also needs to be contacted in order to arrange survivor’s benefits.
Notify Banks, Lenders and Insurers
You may have already contacted your loved one’s bank or mortgage company, but all financial institutions need to be made aware of the death. This includes all lenders and insurers. You may need to submit a claim or take special steps to close the account. And be prepared to produce a death certificate to close each account that’s open.
Remove Perishables From the Home
Shortly after the burial or cremation you’ll want to go through the person’s house and remove any perishable items. This will help you avoid bigger issues while the estate is being settled. If the home is going to remain unoccupied it’s best to also clean the bathroom and kitchen as well.
If there is any chance that others will question your activity in the home being along a neutral third party that can serve as a witness. This will help avoid disputes among the beneficiaries.
Cancel Their Driver’s License
You’ve got to take several steps to reduce the risk of identity theft after a loved one dies. One thing that you can do is cancel their driver’s license. You may be able to do this online, however, don’t be surprised if you have to make a trip to the local DMV office.