Estate Checklist

Estate Checklist

Consider doing the following within one month of a loved one's death:

1.  Meet with an accountant to discuss estate taxes.  Discuss social security, VA benefits, IRA's, 401k's, selling real estate, etc.

2.  File claims with life insurance companies.

3.  Contact the Social Security Administration and other government offices that may have been making payments to the decedent.  If the decedent was your spouse, then inquire about your eligibility for new benefits.

4.  Notify the Registrar of Voters.

5.  If the deceased's home is unoccupied, cancel unnecessary home services, such as newspaper delivery, cable, phone service, etc.

6.  Cancel prescriptions.

7.  Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel driver's license and transfer title of all registered vehicles.

8.  If your loved one was a veteran, inquire about benefits that you may be entitled to through the VA.

9.  Contact the deceased's employer to inquire about any 401k, pension, or company benefits that decedent may be entitled to.

10.  Notify all credit reporting agencies (There are at least three credit agencies).

11.  Check for any life insurance benefits that are available through existing credit card or loan accounts. 

12.  File any outstanding claims for heath insurance or Medicare benefits.

13.  Collect copies of outstanding bills.

14.  Locate and/or obtain other important paperwork of the deceased that will be necessary for the settlement of their estate:
  -  Several copies of the certified death certificate
  -  Stock certificates
  -  Real estate titles
  -  Loan paperwork
  -  Bank and retirement account statements
  -  Last five years tax returns

15.  Advise all creditors in writing that a death has occurred.

16.  Change ownership of assets and lines of credit.

17.  Update your will and beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, if necessary.

18.  Organize and distribute personal belongings.

19.  Forward mail to the executor or admin of the will.

20.  Remove deceased's name from mailing and marketing lists (magazines, newsletters, etc.).

21.  Contact a creditable real estate agent in regards to properties owned by the deceased.

22.  Avoid famiy conflicts by using a real estate agent that is not a friend or family member.

23.  Have the real estate agent provide a comparable market analysis (CMA) of deceased's real estate and forward a copy to the attorney.

24.  Continue to consult with a real estate agent for current updates and changes in the real estate market.

25.  Continue to consult a probate attorney.

Important Contact Information

Social Security Administration

Credit Reporting Agencies


Trans Union


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300 Northeast 97th
Seattle WA 98115



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