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"When I'm Gone" instructions

Have 'When I'm Gone" instructions

Handling the estate of a person after they have died can involve a large list of to-do items; selling homes, closing bank accounts, forwarding mail, etc. Make things easier for your surviving loved ones by creating a checklist for them of things you want them to do after you are gone. Then place these instructions, along with all other pertinent documents such as your Will & Testament, into a safe place known by your loved ones.

Below are a few suggestions for your "When I'm Gone" instructions...


  • Notify family, friends, unions, and professional, religious, or fraternal organizations. Place obituary(s).
  • Make sure their organ donation wishes are followed.
  • Contact church and funeral home.
  • If they were in the military, contact the Veterans Administration ( to request military honors for funerals and death benefits.
  • Conduct viewing and/or services. Write thank you notes for food, flowers, memorials, people who assisted in the services.
  • Have an auto responder setup on their email address. Then delete the email address after several months.
  • Notify the post office. Cancel any mail subscriptions and reoccurring charges.


  • Locate previous tax File federal and/or state taxes for the year the person passed away.
  • Determine if you need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) at to report to the IRS on the estate’s activities and payments.


  • Notify account managers and change account numbers and registration type (banks, credit unions, brokerage houses, investment companies, ).
  • Apply for benefits with the Social Security Department, any life insurance companies, and any other companies, current / previous employers holding annuities or pension
  • Notify provider of any other source of
  • Reestablish title/ownership of Safe Deposit
  • Review bank accounts and cancel automatic
  • Research if there is any unclaimed money sitting in insurance companies, banks, utility companies, stocks,
  • Notify the motor vehicle department and change titles for cars, boats,
  • Look for cash and other valuables hidden around the house.


  • Notify all creditors, including loan and credit card
  • Finalize hospital bills, doctor bills, and nursing home accounts. Contact Medicare for possible assistance with the final medical
  • Ask mortgage companies if there was home owner’s insurance which will pay off the mortgage.
  • Obtain a credit report for the deceased. It will provide a list of companies with whom they had current
  • Document all payments of debts and expenses. You may need to prove these are settled before the estate can make payments to beneficiaries.


  • Order an adequate number of death certificates from the funeral home (at least 10‐15).
  • Review with the estate executor and attorney all wills, trusts, important documents, statements, memos, deeds, titles, and probate information.
  • Gather unpaid bills you find or that come in the mail. Organize the information for payment from the estate.
  • Have executor transfer assets and inheritances to heirs and beneficiaries. Distribute any remaining personal possessions.
  • Appraise major estate assets including real estate, jewelry, and other high value items.
  • Understand the different types of estate documents.