Surviving Spouse Checklist
After the death of a spouse, there are many details to handle. This checklist can help you with that process by identifying information you will need and outlining steps to take.
- Obtain 10-15 certified death certificates. You will need to send one to the various agencies and companies to make claims or finalize accounts. Check with funeral home director for assistance.
- Locate legal documents, such as last will, letter of instruction, trust documents and all deeds and titles.
- Identify the executor and begin taking inventory of the estate.
- Locate all insurance policies and contracts. Contact life insurance companies to start the claims process.
- Locate recent bank statements, bills, receipts and organizational memberships.
- Contact Social Security Administration, 800-772-1213, to report the death and apply for any available benefits.
- Contact current and past employers for group life insurance benefits, pension plans and other benefits.
- Contact banks and other financial institutions to transfer ownership of accounts.
- Contact creditors to check for credit life insurance or accidental death life insurance.
- Locate last year's tax returns and documents.
- Complete a budget to determine if current expenses will be covered by your income sources.
Consider obtaining the assistance of a Fee-Only financial advisor to help you with these steps, prepare a financial plan or road map for you, and help you ensure a life of financial independence.
» Read More: Life's Pathways, Surviving Spouse