While the trustee or personal representative will have their own list of duties to handle, other loved ones may still have some tasks to manage in the weeks following the funeral. Again, be sure you’re prioritizing self-care throughout this long process. Your grief might show up in unexpected and surprising ways, so keep your support network in place as you handle these next items on your to-do list.

Notify institutions.

You’ve notified friends and family members, social groups, and employers, but the notifications aren’t completed yet. Other institutions also need to be notified of your loved one’s death, and this is where you will need those copies of the death certificate:

  • Contact your local Social Security office.
  • After locating policy numbers, contact life insurance companies.
  • If you have access to passwords and account numbers, close or change bank accounts.
  • Contact financial advisers and stockbrokers. (Beneficiaries may be able to access accounts without the trustee or personal representative)
  • Send copies of the death certificate to three major credit agencies — Equifax, Experian, and Transunion — to avoid identity theft.

Handle cancellations.

Other tasks involve cancelling various accounts. Several of these cancellations will also require the death certificate.

  • Cancel your loved one’s driver’s license and voter registration.
  • Stop all services that are no longer needed — cable, streaming, internet, cell phone, etc.
  • Close any credit card accounts and notify the executor of any outstanding balances.
  • Cancel any insurance policies and ask for a return of any unused premiums.

Register for the “Do Not Contact” list.

The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) provides a quick and simple way to remove your loved one’s name and address from all marketing lists. If other junk mail continues to arrive, simply write “Deceased, Return to Sender” on the envelope and leave it for the postmaster to return.

Take care of the digital footprint.

In our current day and age, this task may feel like the most daunting of them all. Talk with family members to make sure you’re in agreement about this plan. Hopefully you have a list of account names and passwords to simplify this process. If not, you will likely need copies of the death certificate. You’ll want to either delete or memorialize social media accounts and close email accounts. Of course, be sure to save important documents and data before doing this.

Final Reminders

These lists may feel overwhelming, so don’t forget to breathe, ask for help, and honor your loved one with your decisions — one task at a time! And of course, reach out to us at Schromen Law, LLC with questions at any time. We’ve helped other clients walk through this list, and we are happy to help you, too!


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