Losing a spouse, parent or loved one is emotionally taxing and challenging. In addition to dealing with your own grief, you must handle numerous phone calls, mountains of paperwork in addition to your own personal affairs. It can get overwhelming quickly. Just remember, first things first, take care of yourself emotionally and physically. When you have the energy, start by taking the following steps:
To Do Right Away:
- Call the 3 Credit Agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and put a fraud alert on the Social Security Number. Run a credit report while you have them on the phone. Make sure you run it with all 3 agencies as they can differ.
- Keep the primary credit card, driver’s license with you. Punch a hole in the driver’s license and passports.
- Contact the deceased’s insurance company, and get all the paperwork together right away.
- Contact Any Service Workers and cancel any contracts. Do NOT give them detailed reasons why. This will reduce identity theft.
- Cancel Utilities as needed.
- Contact the Post Office and have the deceased’s mail forwarded to you.
- Do NOT cancel the deceased’s phone right away. By leaving phone active, you will be able to receive important calls.
- Do NOT cancel the primary credit card right away. This will allow you to identify any recurring charges on the card to allow you cancel memberships.
- Do NOT make assumptions someone else is doing it. Talk to the rest of the family and attorney to decide who is doing what.
- Do NOT assume the attorney is handling mundane items.
- Understand that wrapping up affairs will take up a lot of time. Be patient with family and with yourself.
- You will need to file a final tax return prepared. Get professional help!