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Estate Planning

A Checklist for The Person Who Will Be In Charge

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  • Keep paying bills, particularly the rent or mortgage and utilities.
  • Consider not paying obligations owed only by the decedent such as student loans or credit cards in the person's name until you determine whether the amounts are actually due.

Workplace benefits

  • Check with the decedent's manager and/or Human Relations (HR) department about any benefits that the estate may be owed - such as life insurance benefits or vacation pay.
  • If health insurance was through work, compare COBRA benefits to what happens if you look for health insurance on your own. 

Life Insurance

  • File life insurance claims.  
  • If you aren't sure whether there was other insurance, contact MIB Solutions' Policy Locator Service offsite link. For a fee, the service will research life insurance applications. 

Social Security

  • Notify Social Security of decedent's death and check survivor's benefits. Call: 800.772.1213

Credit Cards

  • Close cards that were in the decedent's name only.
  • Take the decedent's name off of joint accounts.
  • Notify credit card bureaus of decedent's death to prevent fraud. While there may be no liability for charges after demise, it can be a hassle setting the record straight.

Cars, Real Estate , Stocks and Bonds

  • Retitle ownership to eliminate the decedent's name.

Close Miscellaneous Accounts

  • Cancel driver's license and passport.
  • Close social media accounts
  • Cancel subscriptions and memberships


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