July 17, 2021

Who Should You Notify After A Death

When someone in your family passes away, the list of things you need to take care of can seem like it goes on forever. On top of funeral arrangements, you have to worry about bills, credit cards, utilities, government assistance programs, employers, etc… All of the items can add to the already stressful and emotional situation. 

To help ease some of that stress, we have compiled a list of items that need to be taken care of after your loved one has passed away. 


Depending on your bank, they may have different ways to handle the closing of a family member’s account, but nearly all of them will want a copy of the certified death certificate. Bank accounts need to be closed, but you shouldn’t do it too quickly after death. The funds may be needed to pay any bills or outstanding debts. If there is a joint account, a death certificate will have to be taken to the bank in order to remove the deceased name. 

Credit Reporting Agencies

Credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion will be notified of a person’s death in a few different ways: Through the Social Security Administration or by the executor of the deceased estate. Unfortunately, identity theft can occur to those who have passed away, so it’s a good idea to contact at least one credit reporting agency to ensure that a lock is put on the credit report file. The agency you contact will, in turn, contact other reporting agencies. In order to report a death, you’ll need the legal name of the deceased, a Social Security number, and a certified copy of the death certificate. Once a person’s credit file has been reported as “deceased”, it will prevent any attempts at identity theft in their name. 

Social Security Administration

Filing a death certificate electronically through the Social Security Administration will be the easiest way to notify them of a death. If the deceased has received a check from them during the month in which they died, it must be returned immediately. If the deceased has Social Security payments deposited electronically, the SSA will automatically withdraw the funds once they are notified. Bank accounts should be left open for at least 45 days to make sure all funds have been withdrawn properly. 

For specific questions regarding Social Security, you can call them at 1-800-772-1213. 


If the deceased was still employed, contact their employer to ask about death benefits, retirement funds, or life insurance to which they may be entitled. The human resource manager will be able to give you the most accurate information on collecting these funds. Have their death certificate handy when you call in the event that they need to verify any information.  


The insurance companies where the deceased held policies will need to be notified of the death. To make this conversation go as smooth as possible, have copies of the death certificate and policy numbers for each company. Follow the steps they provide to you and if you’re the executor, make sure you have a probate form handy should the company require it.  


Sadly, even the deceased are not exempt from paying taxes. Surviving family members will need to gather all the necessary paperwork so when tax time comes around they can be filed properly. An accountant can help give you guidance to make this process easier. You may have to wait nearly a year before filing taxes depending on when the person died.

Questions? Call Wyuka 

It may seem like there are endless amounts of things to do when someone in your family dies and that’s why we’re here to help you along the way. Our staff and funeral directors are more than happy to walk you through the steps necessary to ensure that your family has everything taken care of after your loved one dies. 

Whether it’s questions on what to say to the bank or guidance on who to contact next, we’re here for you. Feel free to call us at 402.474.3600 for any questions you may have. 



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