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Death of a Family Member Checklist

March 29, 2018


Losing a loved one can be a difficult experience. Yet, during this time, you must complete a variety of tasks and make important financial decisions. You may need to make final arrangements, notify various businesses and government agencies, settle the individual’s estate, and provide for your own financial security. The following checklist may help guide you through the matters that must be attended to upon the death of a family member.

If your loved one was a veteran, you may be eligible for burial and memorial benefits.  Call 1-800-827-1000 to find the nearest VA regional office.

Duplicate copies of marriage and birth certificates are available at the county clerk’s office where the marriage and births occurred.  Veterans and the next of kin of deceased veterans can submit an online request for separation documents and other service personnel records via eVetRecs, a service available through the National archives at

If there is no one authorized to open the decedent’s safe-deposit box, petition the probate court for an order to open.

Note: Some of the following tasks may have to be completed by the estate’s executor.

Initial tasks

Within 3 to 9 months after death

Within 9 to 12 months after death

Resnick Advisors does not provide tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable – we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.