Post-Mortem Checklist

Checklist: Things To Do When a Person Dies

  1. Find and review Decedent’s expressed funeral and burial wishes.

  2. Plan and arrange for funeral.

  3. Work with funeral director to order death certificates.

  4. Evaluate need for security at Decedent’s residence.

  5. Cancel or rearrange home deliveries

  6. Have Post Office hold or forward mail.

  7. Find perishable property (food, plants, etc.), arrange for care or disposal.

  8. Notify agent under any power of attorney.

  9. Prepare and arrange for obituary.

  10. Arrange for mortuary, cemetery, burial, cremation, as appropriate.

  11. Keep records of all payments for funeral and other expenses.

  12. Locate safe deposit box(es).

  13. Locate wills, codicils, trusts.

  14. Locate life insurance policies.

  15. Locate other important documents, accounts, investments, etc.

  16. Advise Social Security, Medicaid, other agencies as appropriate (creditors, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance).

  17. Investigate social security benefits.

  18. Investigate life insurance.

  19. Investigate union death benefits.

  20. Investigate veterans burial allowance and other benefits.

  21. Investigate employee benefits, including accrued vacation pay, death benefits, final wages, retirement plans, deferred compensation, medical reimbursements.

  22. Investigate refunds on insurance or canceled subscriptions.

  23. Investigate Keogh and IRA accounts.

  24. Investigate business, partnership and investment arrangements.

  25. Retain and meet with attorney regarding estate matters. What to bring to first conference.

  26. Retain and meet with CPA as to tax and accounting matters.

  27. Meet with life insurance agent to collect proceeds or consider options.

  28. Deal with fire, theft, liability and auto insurance on Decedent’s property.

  29. Work with attorney and CPA to prepare inventory, list of accounts and list of debts.

  30. Review credit cards and charge accounts, cancel as appropriate.

  31. DO NOT pay any of Decedent’s debts until attorney discusses with family or executor.

  32. Obtain valuations of assets, as appropriate.

  33. If Trust is involved, arrange for any allocations and transfers.

  34. Arrange for final income tax return and estate tax return, as necessary.

Best of DeForest Windsor

Wisconsin Attorney Marsha Tesar, with Tesar Law Group, S.C. assists clients in DeForest, Madison, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and the surrounding area with Estate Planning, Elder Law, Medicaid, Wills, Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts, Special Needs Planning, Business Organization and Contracts, Asset Protection, Real Estate Law, Estate Tax, Wisconsin Probate and Estate Administration. Our firm strives to provide quality, cost effective legal representation to families and businesses throughout Dane County, Columbia County and the State of Wisconsin.