What will I need if a member of the family dies?

Hopefully your loved one has done their estate planning in advance so that during this emotionally stressful time, it won’t be too much of a burden to handle. You’ll need all of the following that apply:

  • Copies of all insurance policies. (If you can’t locate these, the insurance company will allow you to sign a certificate that the original policy has been lost, but it will slow the process of your claim.)
  • Marriage Certificate, if the deceased’s spouse will be requesting benefits. If this is lost, you can get a copy at the County Clerk’s office in the county where the marriage license was issued.
  • Certified copies of the death certificate (a minimum of 10). The funeral director will handle getting these for you, or you can get them from the Health Department in the county where the death occurred.
  • Birth Certificates of any dependent children. You can get copies of these at either the County or State Public Health office where the child was born.
  • Social Security numbers for the spouse, the deceased, and any dependent children.
  • Military discharge papers, if the deceased was ever in the military service. The Department of Defense can help you if you’re unable to locate copies.
  • A complete list of all property, including stocks, savings accounts, real estate, and personal property of the deceased.
  • Original copy of the notarized Will, which will more than likely be located in the decedents safe deposit box or, possibly, at the attorney’s office for the deceased.