Resources to Assist You

If possible, have a relative or friend help you through this process to provide comfort and support.

Who to Notify When a Death Occurs

If a death occurs outside of a health care facility, call the authorities by dialing 911. They will provide assistance to guide you. Notify the deceased person's family, close friends, employer/business colleagues, school/college or any organization with which they were affiliated.

Contact the deceased person's bank. This is especially important if checks are automatically deposited or bills automatically paid directly from accounts. Notify Social Security and/or any other organizations paying benefits to the deceased person. If the deceased person has a will, notify their executor.

Notify Applicable Insurance Companies

Check for any outstanding debts such as credit card bills. You may need to ask for time extensions on payments coming due until the estate is settled. If necessary, contact the deceased person's landlord, cancel utilities, telephone, and any other service, and give the post office a forwarding address for mail.

Legal Requirements

You will need a variety of documents to satisfy legal requirements and claim benefits.



Many employers provide health, accident, and or life insurance. The deceased person may be due a final paycheck, vacation, and or sick leave compensation. There may also be payment from a pension plan, annuity, and/or health insurance coverage available for the family.

Social Security

Pays a death benefit for burial expenses for eligible spouse and dependent children. There are also survivor benefits available in some cases. Visit the Social Security Administration website for details.

Veteran's Benefits

Benefits may be available for a burial, funeral, headstone or marker. Visit the Veteran’s Administration website for details.


Additional to life insurance, some loans, mortgages, and credit card accounts are covered by credit life insurance that pays outstanding balances.

Union & Professional Organizations

May pay a death benefit for members.