1. Contact Ashton Funeral Home if you’d like us to take your loved one into our care.
2. Contact your clergy person, if you haven’t already done so.
3. Contact family members, close friends, or co-workers. You may want to make a ‘branching’ system by making just a few calls to relatives or friends, and asking them to each make a few specific phone calls.
4. Contact the deceased’s employer, if applicable.
5. Arrange for the care of any dependents.
6. Arrange for care of the deceased’s pets.
7. Gather information for your loved one’s obituary. Include a photo, age, birthplace, cause of death (optional), occupation, education, memberships, military service, survivors in the immediate family, and other important life details.
8. Arrange for several close friends or family members to answer the phone or greet visitors. Delegate household tasks such as cleaning, laundry and food preparation to those who offer help. Keep a record of visitors, flower and food deliveries for later thank yous.
9. If your loved one lived alone, remove any valuables, perishables, and trash; lock the doors and windows; install lamp timers to make the home appear occupied.
10. Notify fraternal, religious, or civic organizations of which your loved one was a member.
11. Notifiy the executor of the deceased’s will.
12. Notify the appropriate attorney regarding probate of the estate.
13. Notify the Post Office to forward the deceased’s mail.
14. Locate your loved one’s documents:
Social Security card
life insurance policies
military discharge papers (DD214)
deed to cemetery plot
copy of funeral prearrangements
15. We will need the following information about the deceased to finalize the death certificate:
first, middle, and last name
social security number
date of death
date of birth
mother’s name and maiden name
What to do within one month
1. Meet with an attorney regarding probate.
2. Meet with an accountant regarding estate taxes.
3. We will contact the Social Security Administration with the proof of death. Within a few weeks, you should follow up with them to inquire about your eligibility for new benefits if you are the deceased’s spouse or dependent children.
4. File life insurance claims. We can help you with this.
5. Cancel any medical prescriptions.
6. If the home of the deceased is unoccuppied, cancel unneeded services such as cable, phone, and newspapers.
7. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel the deceased’s drivers license and transfer titles of registered vehicles.
8. If your loved one was a veteran, we will help you apply for benefits you may be entitled to through the Veterans Administration.
9. Contact the deceased’s employer to inquire about any 401(k), pension, or other benefits he or she may have been entitled to.
10. Check for life insurance benefits available through credit card or loan accounts
11. If the death was accidental, verify whether benefits are payable on the deceased’s insurance policies.
12. If the deceased lived alone, notify utility companies and landlord.
13. File any remaining claims for health insurance or Medicare benefits.
14. Gather any outstanding bills; notify creditors in writing that the death has occurred. If payments will be delayed, contact creditors to request more time before payments are due.
15. If applicable, change ownership of lines of credit or other assets.
16. Gather these items which will be necessary to settle your loved one’s estate:
certified copies of the Death Certificate
bank and retirement account statements
real estate deeds and titles
tax returns (last 4 years)
17. If necessary, update your own will and beneficiaries on your life insurance policies.
18. Send thank you cards for flowers, food, gifts, pallbearers, and any other gestures of kindness.
19. Remove your loved one’s name from mailing lists.
20. Consider beginning the task of organizing and distributing your loved one’s personal belongings.