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EXAMPLE Checklist for

Your Loved One

Immediate tasks (5)
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Arrange care for any pets or dependents

If your loved one was responsible for the care of children, dependent adults…

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Secure major property

If your loved one lived on their own, make sure the home and any vehicles ar…

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Notify close family and friends

Most people have a few close family members and friends who should be told a…

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Select a funeral home or other provider

First, check to see if your loved one had existing arrangements with a …

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Notify the person's employer

If the person had a job (paid or volunteer), you should let the company or o…

As soon as you can (10)
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Notify the broader community

As soon as close friends and family members have been notified, it's gene…

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Start going through the mail

Mail is an easy way to start making a list of accounts and bills that you…

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Sign up for the DDNC list

Adding your loved one to the Deceased Do Not Contact (DDNC) will prevent you…

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Perform a more thorough home check

Toss out any food that has or will expire, water any plants, and look for an…

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Decide on a method of disposition

If you haven't already, decide whether you'd like to bury or cremate your…

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Decide on a final resting place

If your loved one is being cremated, you have several options for what yo…

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Order a casket or urn

You can choose to purchase a casket or urn directly through your funeral hom…

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Write an obituary

Writing someone's obituary may feel daunting, but templates can help you get…

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Order death certificates

Death certificates are necessary for many different things after someone …

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Give direction on memorial donations

Many people like to make donations in memory of someone after they pass. You…

Finances (7)
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Notify life insurance companies

You'll need to fill out claim forms for any life insurance policies that …

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Settle any trusts

If your loved one had any trusts that were transferable upon death, follow t…

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Apply for social security survivor benefits

If you were a surviving spouse (or other close family member), you may be…

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Apply for veterans benefits

If your loved one was a veteran, there's a good chance they're eligible f…

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Ask about employer benefits

If your loved one was working at the time of their death, contact his or her…

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Get additional support

Many families find that they still need to pay thousands of dollars in funer…

Events (9)
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Decide what type of funeral or memorial event(s) you would like to have

There's no one right way to hold an event for someone you've lost. Some f…

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Choose a venue

A memorial event can be held almost anywhere. Common locations include:

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Set the date and time

Work with close friends and family, as well as the venue, to determine the d…

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Decide whether to livestream events

There will likely be people who are unable to attend in person due to person…

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Choose participants

If you'd like people to welcome people, give eulogies, serve as pallbearers …

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Determine the order of events

It's helpful to plan out who will speak when, as well as any other formal ac…

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Order printed programs

Many families like to have printed programs, prayer cards or other materials…

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Order flowers and other decor

If you'd like to decorate with flowers or any other meaningful decor (photos…

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Coordinate food and drinks

People often choose to serve food either at the memorial event (with more in…

Professional services (2)
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Start the probate process

Most estates will need to go through probate. To get started, contact a loca…

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Hire a tax accountant

You'll need to file a tax return on behalf of both the individual and the es…

Bills (7)
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Notify the mortgage company or landlord

It's important to make sure the mortgage company or landlord is aware o…

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Notify any car lenders

If your loved one had a car loan, you'll need to notify the lender and ensur…

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Notify cable and internet provider(s)

If your loved one was paying for cable and/or internet, you should make sure…

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Notify the cell service provider

In most cases, you'll be able to see your loved one's cell phone carrier fro…

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Notify utility companies

If your loved one was paying for electricity, power and/or trash service, yo…

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Cancel online subscriptions

If your loved one subscribed to any online services, such as Amazon Prime or…

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Cancel physical subscriptions

Check your loved one's home and mail to see if they had any physical su…

Accounts (11)
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Find and close bank accounts

Identify any bank accounts that your loved one had (mail can help with this)…

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Find and transfer ownership of investment accounts

Identify any investment accounts that your loved one had and transfer them t…

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Memorialize their Facebook page

To memorialize (or close) your loved one's Facebook page, you'll need to sub…

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Cancel their driver's license

Canceling your loved one's driver's license will help prevent identify theft…

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Close credit cards

Closing credit cards will help prevent fraud and unexpected automatic charge…

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Cancel or transfer insurance policies

Cancel insurance policies that are no longer needed to avoid unnecessary pay…

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Close other online accounts

Identify any other online accounts that your loved one had, so you can close…

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Close any email accounts

Closing email accounts should generally be the last accounts that you close,…

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Cancel and transfer money from online payment accounts

If your loved one used online payment accounts like Venmo or Paypal, you sho…

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Transfer unused airline miles and close accounts

If your loved one traveled, they may have airline miles that can be transfer…

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Transfer unused hotel rewards and close accounts

Similar to airline miles, your loved one may have hotel rewards points that …

Additional notifications (3)
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Notify the social security office

Your funeral home will likely notify the social security office for you, but…

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Notify major credit reporting agencies

Notifying credit reporting agencies of the death will help minimize the c…

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Notify any additional creditors

Once you've notified major credit reporting agencies, request a copy of…

Personal possessions (5)
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Distribute items mentioned in the will

Anything mentioned in your loved one's will or covered in probate needs to b…

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Sell any unwanted valuables

If your loved one had valuables that you or others don't want to keep, you c…

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Offer other items to friends and family

If there are items that you don't want and have permission to give away…

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Donate other useful items

If there are useful items that no one in your community is interested in, co…

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Throw away anything that's remaining

Finally, throw away anything else that hasn't been claimed or donated. If th…

When you're ready (3)
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Order a headstone

While some cultures prefer to have a headstone unveiling at the one-year ann…

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Send thank you notes

If people sent sympathy gifts or flowers, contributed to a memorial fund or …

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Consider future memorial events

Having a single (or no) memorial event is perfectly fine, but some families …

Consider for yourself (3)
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Create your will

Having a legal will can reduce stress and conflict for your family when you …

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Record your own information

Help your family by recording your funeral preferences, open accounts and mo…

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Consider life insurance

If your death could cause financial troubles for your family, life insurance…

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Not-Applicable Tasks (0)
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