One Month Checklist
You may need around a dozen copies of the death certificate, as many financial institutions, government agencies, and other organizations require a copy in order to release information or take action. You may request copies online, by mail, or in person at the office of vital records for the county in which the death occurred through the Texas DSHS Vital Statistics Unit.
Temporary passports may be available for your family members. The Mexican Consulate may provide more information.
The Crime Victims’Compensation Program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General and is dedicated to ensuring that victims of violent crime are provided financial assistance for crime-related expenses that cannot be reimbursed by insurance or other sources. Texas courts collect court costs from convicted offenders for the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. If you or a loved one were a victim of violent crime, you may be eligible for benefits.
The attorney will need to have the original will if there is one and a certified death certificate in order to begin. The attorney will eventually need a list of all assets and important paperwork belonging to your loved one, including real estate deeds and titles, stock certificates, loan paperwork, bank and retirement account statements, credit report, marriage and birth certificates of surviving spouse and/or children, and the last 4 years of tax returns. If there is no will, the attorney can assist you with filing to determine heirship and how the estate should be distributed. The State Bar of Texas provides a Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 800-252-9690 and online.
If the funeral home director has not notified Social Security of the death, contact 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. If your loved one was receiving benefits, they must be discontinued because overpayments may require complicated repayment. If they have a surviving spouse or dependents, ask about eligibility for increased personal benefits and about a one-time payment of $225. More information about applying for Survivors’ Benefits can be found here.
You will need to provide the policy numbers and a death certificate. If your loved one was listed as a beneficiary on a policy, arrange to have the name removed.
Inquire about any 401(k), pension, or company benefits that they may be entitled to.
Tell them that they will need to wait until an administrator or executor of the estate is appointed, and do not agree to anything or sign anything with the creditor until you have
discussed it with an attorney.
The post office, all 3 credit reporting agencies, the registrar of voters, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the VA if your loved one was a veteran.
This may include services such as newspaper delivery or utilities, as well as medical prescriptions, membership in unions or organizations, updating beneficiaries in your will and/or life insurance policies, and removal from marketing and mailing lists.
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