In addition to dealing with the grief and emotional aspects of a death, there are many important tasks that also must be completed at this time. It can be overwhelming, but it helps to have a checklist to keep you on track. Here are some items you’ll need to complete:
All appropriate documents (living will, health care power of attorney, will, etc.) must be located. Check all desk drawers and safety deposit boxes for instructions as to organ donations, and funeral and burial arrangements.
Contacting the Funeral Home
Make the necessary funeral arrangements, making sure to comply with all instruction of the decedent.
Informing Relatives and Close Rriends
Contact relatives and close friends to inform them of the death and the time and place of the funeral.
Obtain Copies of the Death Certificate
Once funeral arrangements have been made the next step is to obtain copies of the death certificate. Generally 10 copies will be sufficient; however, if the deceased had numerous life insurance policies it may be necessary to order more.
Life Insurance Policies
Contact insurance companies to fill out claim forms and submit them with copies of the death certificate. Be sure to retain copies of all submitted documents for your records.
Locating, Identifying and Valuing Assets
Work with the appointed executor of the will to compile a list of assets, accounts, etc. You may need to obtain written appraisals for some assets.
It will be important to meet with the primary adviser, financial planner, attorney, accountant, etc. They can assist you with all of the necessary steps to settling the estate.