Barnhart Funeral Home, Inc.
505 E. Pittsburgh Street
Greensburg, PA 15601
Jeffrey M. Barnhart, Supervisor
o Certified Copies of Death Certificate
You may need a dozen certified death certificates to complete upcoming tasks, though some will only require a photocopy. Additional copies may be obtained by contacting the funeral home.
o Send Thank You Cards
Consider delegating this task to a family member.
o Contact Medicare
If your loved one received Medicare, Social Security will inform the program of the death. If the deceased had been enrolled in Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), Medicare Advantage plan or had a Medigap policy, contact these plans at the phone numbers provided on each plan membership card to cancel the insurance.
o Check Employment Benefits
If the deceased was working, contact the employer for information about pension plan, credit unions and union death benefits. You will need a death certificate for each claim.
o Stop Health Insurance
Notify the health insurance company or the deceased's employer. End coverage for the deceased, but be sure coverage for any dependents continues if needed.
o Notify Life Insurance Companies
If your loved one had life insurance, appropriate claim forms will need to be filed. You will need to provide the policy numbers and a death certificate. If the deceased was listed as a beneficiary on someone else’s policy, arrange to have the name removed.
o Terminate Other Insurance Policies (Auto, etc.)
Contact the providers. That could include homeowner's, automobile and so forth. Claim forms will require a copy of the death certificate.
o Meet with a Probate Attorney
The executor should choose the attorney. Getting recommendations from family or friends might be the best approach, but an online search can also be an efficient way to find an attorney. If there is a will, the executor named in it and the attorney will have the document admitted into probate court. If there isn't a will, the probate court judge will name an administrator in place of an executor. The probate process starts with an inventory of all assets (personal property, bank accounts, house, car, brokerage account, personal property, furniture, jewelry, etc.), which will need to be filed in the probate court.
o Make a List of Important Bills (Mortgage Payments)
Share the list with the executor or estate administrator so that bills can be paid promptly.
o Contact Financial Advisers, Stockbrokers, etc.
Determine the beneficiary listed on these accounts. Depending on the type of asset, the beneficiary may get access to the account or benefit by simply filling out appropriate forms and providing a copy of the death certificate. If that were the case, the executor wouldn't need to be involved. If there are complications, the executor could be called upon to help out.
o Notify Mortgage Companies and Banking Institutions
It helps if your loved one left a list of accounts, including online passwords. Otherwise, take a death certificate to the bank for assistance. Change ownership of joint bank accounts. Did the deceased have a safe deposit box? If a password or key isn’t available, the executor would most likely need a court order to open and inventory the safe deposit box. Most probate courts have administrative rules about steps to access the box of any decedent.
o Cancel or Transfer Credit Card and Utility Accounts
For each account, call the customer service phone number on the credit card, monthly statement or issuer's website. Let the agent know that you would like to close the account of a deceased relative. Upon request, submit a copy of the death certificate by fax or email. If that's not possible, send the document by registered mail with return receipt requested. Once the company receives the certificate, it will close the account as of the date of death. If an agent doesn't offer to waive interest or fees after that date, be sure to ask. Keep records of the accounts you close and notify the executor of the estate about outstanding debts.
o Cancel Driver's License
Clearing the driver's license record will remove the deceased's name from the records of the department of motor vehicles and help prevent identity theft. Contact the state department of motor vehicles for exact instructions. You may have to visit a customer-service center or mail documentation. Either way, you'll need a copy of the death certificate.
o Transfer Vehicle Titles
The funeral home can provide a form to assist with this process.
o Cancel Memberships in Organizations
Some organizations may offer a death benefit.
o Stop Automatically Refilling Prescriptions
o Contact a Tax Preparer/Financial Advisor/Accountant
A return will need to be filed for the individual, as well as for an estate return. Keep monthly bank statements on all individual and joint accounts that show the account balance on the day of death.
o Call Barnhart Funeral Home with any Additional Questions
(724)834-1421 or BarnhartFuneralHome@comcast.net