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Checklist Version -What to Do After the Death of a Loved One

Updated: Jan 8

A checklist for the practical steps you need to take in the early stages of loss




Losing a loved one is extremely difficult. Too often, the experience becomes overwhelming if you are responsible for your deceased family member’s personal and legal affairs. To better manage the process, here is a checklist to marshal the correct help.



What To Do Immediately


  • Get a legal pronouncement of death

  • Notify family and friends

  • Arrange organ donation

  • Learn about existing funeral and burial plans

  • Provide care for pets and dependents

  • Secure the property

  • Notify the deceased’s employer


What To Do Within A Few Days Of Death


  • Decide on funeral, burial, or cremation arrangements

  • Forward mail

  • Choose a casket or urn

  • Perform a thorough check of the loved one’s home

  • Write an obituary


What To Do For The Funeral, Memorial Service, Or Celebration Of Life


  • Determine if you need financial assistance

  • Find out about veterans’ benefits

  • Choose funeral participants

  • Create a schedule for the memorial service

  • Order custom materials and flowers

  • Coordinate food and beverages

  • Get the word out


What To Do Within A Few Weeks After Death


  • Secure multiple certified copies of the death certificate

  • Purchase a headstone

  • Locate the will and find the executor

  • Begin the probate process with the will

  • Get in contact with a CPA

  • Reach out to a trusts and estates attorney

  • Make a list of all assets

  • Find assets

  • Create a list of bills

  • Pay important bills

  • Cancel unneeded services

  • Contact insurance providers and terminate policies

  • Cancel your loved one’s driver’s license

  • Close the person’s credit card accounts

  • Discover employment benefits

  • Delete or memorialize your love one’s social media accounts

  • Close email accounts


Notify The Following That Your Loved One Has Died:


  • The Social Security office

  • Banks or mortgage companies

  • Financial advisers or stockbrokers

  • Life insurance companies

  • Credit reporting agencies

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