Helpful Information

Contact Suggestions • Checklist

Contact Suggestions

Immediately following the death of a loved one, a whirlwind of activity must take place. To help you through this confusion, we have prepared a simple checklist for your use. Click the checklist option above to automatically scroll to the information. 

Social Security Benefits

Your funeral director will notify social security of the passing for you, however you must contact them and apply for any benefits if eligible, including the one time death benefit of $255. No letter is needed for social security. To make an appointment, simply call (800) 772-1213.

Life Insurance Benefits

Each Life insurance company either has an agent that you may contact or an 800 number to call. Simply contact the company and have your loved one's Life Insurance Policy number, social security number, and date of death available as this information will be asked for.

Veterans Benefits

Your funeral director will explain the benefits available regarding the burial, flag, marker, and honor guard for your loved one. Other VA benefits may be available outside of the following: 

Call toll free:

  • Health Benefits - 877-222-8387
  • VA Life Insurance - 800-669-8477
  • Service Group Life - 800-419-1473
  • Local VA Hotline - 805-385-6366
Employee Benefits

Most employers have a contact person inside the company that will help with benefits. Often times this is a human resource specialist. We suggest making a phone call or sending a letter to the company to get information. 


Here we have compiled a checklist that will help you get your affairs in order after the death of a loved one. Though a solid starting point, this list may not be comprehensive, so always check with a lawyer if your loved one's portfolio was complicated or not in order. 

  • Obtain certified copies of the Death Certificate (can be ordered as soon as registered with the state).
  • Make copies of dated obituary notice. Some Life Insurance Companies may ask for a copy.
  • Check contents of any safe deposit boxes.
  • Review the decedents Will, Trust, or Power of Attorney with an attorney if needed.
  • Make copies of birth and marriage certificates. Insurance Companies and Social Security may ask for them.
  • Assemble all Life Insurance Policies.
  • Locate DD 214 Military Discharge Papers. Your funeral director will need a copy to schedule honors.
  • File for Life Insurance Benefits.
  • File for Social Security Benefits.
  • File for Veterans Benefits.
  • File for Fraternal, Union, and Association Benefits.
  • File for Employers Benefits.
  • Contact creditors.
  • Check health insurance continuation.
  • Transfer any house and/or car titles into your name.
  • Establish credit in your name.
  • Review your own Life Insurance Policy beneficiaries.
  • Review your own Will.