3 to 9 Months After Death Checklist

  • Consider government benefits such as Civil Service benefits, Veteran’s benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, state survivor benefits, Public Safety Officers’ benefits, Federal Employee benefits, and Department of Defense benefits.

  • Continue to diligently check the mail and notify senders of the death. Don’t leave mail sitting in mailboxes, especially mail that could be useful to thieves.

  • Contact insurance companies, if necessary meet with real estate professionals, and get a copy of the Decedent’s credit report to check for unauthorized activity.

  • Don’t forget about taxes. If you’re going through the probate process, filing the last tax return is part of the end of that process. If you're not going through probate, it’s still important to file the Decedent’s last tax return. Many states have a filing deadline nine months after death.

Contacts

  • The Social Security Administration

  • The Decedent’s healthcare provider(s)

  • All benefit providers

  • Credit card companies

  • Subscription services (magazines, newspapers)

  • Personal services (cell phone, prescription medications, reoccurring appointments such as massages and hair cuts)

  • Utilities if the home of the Decedent is no longer occupied (cable, Internet service, gas, electric, water, lawn care)

  • Institutions where the Decedent used automatic bill pay

  • The Decedent’s lawyer or executor of the will

The contents of these tools and checklists are intended to provide helpful suggestions to a family member or other survivor who has assumed the duties of concluding the affairs of a loved one/decedent. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. It is not intended to provide legal or financial advice nor to be relied on in lieu of such services. If you have specific questions relating to an estate you are handling, you may find it helpful to consult with a probate attorney or financial professional.


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