After Your Loss - Checklist


[ ] Collect valuables and personal items before leaving the patient’s room. 

[ ] Decide on time and place of funeral or memorial services.

[ ] Make a list of immediate family, close friends, employers or business colleagues to be notified by phone.

[ ] If flowers are to be omitted, pick an appropriate memorial to which gifts may be made.

[ ] Write an obituary.
 - You can include: age, place of birth, cause of death*, occupation, college degrees and memberships held, military service, outstanding work and list of survivors in family. Give time and place of services. Deliver in-person, or by phone or e-mail to local newspapers. *Including cause of death is optional, but helpful if you would like to direct funds toward an organization or a charity.
-  To place an obituary in the San Diego Union Tribune, call 866.411.4140, visit or contact your local community newspaper for information regarding an obituary.

[ ] Arrange for members of family, or close friends, to take turns answering the door or phone, keeping a careful record of calls and visits.

[ ] Arrange appropriate childcare, if applicable.

[ ] Seek help in coordinating the supply of food for the next days.

[ ] Consider special needs of the household, such as cleaning.

[ ] Arrange hospitality for visiting family and friends.

[ ] Select pallbearers and notify.

[ ] Notify lawyer and executor of the will.

[ ] Plan for disposal of flowers after funeral (hospitals or rest homes).

[ ] Prepare list of people to receive acknowledgements of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgements.

[ ] Check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal and military. Check also on income for survivors from these sources.

[ ] Promptly check on all debts and installment payments. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before payment is due.

[ ] If deceased is living alone, notify utilities and landlords.

[ ] Tell post office where to send mail.

[ ] Check with the Health Department or mortuary regarding the death certificate number. 


Checklist: Who to notify

Government Agencies:

[ ] Social Security Administration, 800.772.1213

[ ] Veteran’s Administration 800.827.1000 (if decedent was formerly in the military)

[ ] Defense Finance and Accounting Service, 800.269.5170 (military retiree receiving benefits)

[ ] Office of Personnel Management, 888.767.6738 (if decedent was not a U.S. citizen)

[ ] State Department of Motor Vehicles (if decedent had a driver’s license or state ID)

Financial Companies:

[ ] Credit card and merchant card companies

[ ] Banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions

[ ] Mortgage companies and lenders

[ ] Financial planners, stockbrokers and pension providers

Credit Reporting Agencies:

Immediately contact all three national credit agencies by telephone to report the death. Instruct them to list all accounts as “Closed. Account Holder is Deceased.” Follow up with a letter to each agency sent via certified mail. Be sure to retain a copy for your records. You may also request a credit report to obtain a list of all creditors and to review recent credit activities.

A sample notification letter is available at

[ ] Experian
Phone: 888.397.3742
Address: P.O. Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013

[ ] Equifax
Phone: 800.525.6285
Address: P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348

[ ] TransUnion
Phone: 800.680.7289
Address: P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

Memberships (examples):

[ ] Professional associations and unions

[ ] Health clubs and athletic clubs

[ ] Automobile Clubs

[ ] Public Library

[ ] Alumni Clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Veterans’ organizations and clubs

[ ] Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)

Do Not Contact Lists:

For a small fee, you can list the decedent’s name on the Deceased Do Not Contact List that is maintained by the Direct Marketing Association.

[ ] Direct Marketing Association (register at