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When we lose a loved one, there are numerous details needing your attention. Take advantage of offers of assistance. Friends and family members can help handle many of the tasks at hand.

For your assistance, we have compiled a check list below to be used as a guideline.

  •    Decide on time & place of funeral or memorial service.
  •    Make a list of immediate family, close friends, employer or business colleagues. Notify each by phone.
  •    If flowers are to be omitted, decide on an appropriate memorial to which gifts may be made (church, library, school, or another charity).
  •    Notify insurance companies, including automobile insurance, for immediate cancellation and available refund.
  •    Arrange for members of family or close friends to take turns answering the door or phone. Remember to keep a record of calls.
  •    Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.
  •    Arrange appropriate child care.
  •    Coordinate the supplying of food for the next several days.
  •    Consider special needs of the household such as cleaning etc. Any of which may be done by a close friend. Take advantage of help offered by others.
  •    Select Pall Bearers and notify them. Avoid men with heart or back difficulties, or make them honorary Pall Bearers.
  •    Notify lawyer and/or executor. Obtain several copies of death certificates.
  •    Plan for disposition of flowers after funeral. Hospitals and rest homes welcome flower arrangements (obtain permission first).
  •    Prepare a list of people to send acknowledgments of gifts to. For example: flowers, cards, calls, gifts of food etc. Send either written or printed acknowledgements.
  •    Carefully check all life, and casualty insurance and death benefits. Including, but not limited to: Social Security, Credit Union, Trade Union, Fraternal Military etc. Also check 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 a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask them for additional time.
  •    If deceased was living alone, notify utilities and landlord. Tell the post office where to forward mail. Take precautions against thieves.
  •    Contact banks/credit unions to have the accounts changed to the proper names.
  •    Have all property titles changed.
  •    Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, have registration name changed.
  •    United States Government employees at McClellan AFB contact the Personnel Department or Board for Benefits at 916-643-5702.
  •    State of California employees should contact the Post Retirement Services Department located at 400 P St. Room 1350, Sacramento, CA or call 916-326-3848.
  •    For railroad death benefits, contact the Railroad Retirement Board at 2987 Fulton Ave, Sacramento, CA or call 916-498-6654.

Click HERE for a printable list.