My Loved One Just Passed Away, What Should I Do?
This is Part 2 our my series "What Should I Do After Someone Dies". You can view part one (Steps 1-5) here. Though it may be hard to take action after a Loved One passes away, it is important to take care of certain matters to protect the estate and keep it safe from crooks.
Step 6: Cancel credit cards.
In our internet society, credit card data can be stolen or misdirected in a nanosecond. When the credit card owner is deceased, this is a tempting prospect for credit card and identity thieves. Review the card information in the decedent's wallet and mail and notify the credit card companies promptly of your Loved One's death.
Step 7: Notify your Loved One's bank.
The bank may not be aware of your Loved One's passing unless you tell them. Automatic deposits and withdrawals may continue that may have to be undone later - at considerable inconvenience. Also crooks can sometimes target deceased persons' bank accounts.
Step 8: Take care of the mail.
If a family member will be living there, then the decedent's mail should be kept in one place for the executor's review. If no one will be living there for the time being, the post office should be notified to hold or forward the mail so that it doesn't pile up in the mailbox. That's an open invitation to burglars or mischief makers.
Step 9: Contact present or past employers.
Often there will be death benefits or other things that will need to be addressed. Past or present employers should be informed of the death as soon as possible so that they can make necessary work arrangements and get the decedent's benefit applications under way.
Step 10: Contact Social Security Office.
If the decedent was receiving social security benefits those should be stopped immediately. If the decedent's benefits keep getting paid, this can be a headache for the executor to repay them later. What's more, if there are death benefits payable to the decedent's dependents, those should get started as soon as possible.
The contents of this article are for information only and is not to be interpreted as legal advice. For personal legal advice you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in probate law or estate planning.