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Donna Schilder

Professional Certified Coach

Leadership, Career, & Business Coach

(562) 434-7822 -

Donna Schilder

Widow’s Checklist

Widow’s Checklist

Documents to Collect

☐ Death Certificate
☐ Estate Documents
☐ Will and/or Trust
☐ Marriage License
☐ Bank Statements
☐ Social Security Documents / Statements
☐ Bank Statements
☐ Bills
☐ Brokerage Statements / Documents
☐ Powers of Attorney
☐ Deed to House
☐ Other Property Deeds

☐ Find passwords to all financial accounts
☐ If there an Executor for the Will contact them
☐ Contact an Estate Attorney if needed to help with settlement of the estate
☐ Meet with Tax Attorney
☐ Bills – if outstanding balances, negotiate reductions or a payment plan if needed
☐ Medical Bills
*Negotiate no payment except what insurance pays or a reduction in amount and/or payment plan
☐ Contact Credit card companies or charge accounts. Have account numbers available, if known, change the name on the accounts.
*If outstanding balances on cards with your spouse’s name only, negotiate reduction or no payment if possible
☐ Other debts
*If outstanding balances with your spouse’s name only (and even if the name is on it), negotiate reduction and/or modified payment plan or no payment if possible.
☐ Change names on Bank Accounts
☐ Change name on utilities, telephones, and other bills
☐ Assess Cash Flow
☐ Create a short term budget
☐ Create funds for an emergency
☐ Create a long term budget
☐ Employer Benefits

☐ Health Insurance

☐ Determine Continuation of Coverage with employer and fill out paperwork
☐ Sign up for COBRA when Continuation of Coverage expires
☐ Find alternative insurance once COBRA expires

☐ Collect pension as entitled
☐ Retirement Fund
☐ 401(k)
☐ Vacation payout
☐ Deferred salary
☐ Stock options
☐ Bonuses
☐ Commission
☐ Corporate Life Insurance
☐ Put money from life insurance into a bank CD or money market account until you’ve investigated other investment options
☐ Change beneficiaries on retirement plans

☐ Collect Other Life Insurance – *Put money from life insurance into a bank CD or money market account until you’ve investigated other investment options
☐ Transfer other investment accounts into your name (check with Tax Advisor First)

☐ Stocks
☐ Bonds
☐ Securities
☐ Properties
☐ Bearer Bonds

☐ Collect any other 401(k) – *Reinvest as applicable
☐ Roll over IRA if applicable (Check with Tax Advisor First)
☐ Sign Up for Social Security survivor benefits
☐ Check Safe Deposit Box – may need Power of Attorney – this needs to be done right away
☐ Apply for veteran’s benefits (if applicable)
☐ Transfer IRA into your name (Check with Tax Advisor First)
☐ Change beneficiaries on investment accounts
☐ Change the deed on the house
☐ Change Pink Slip on Your Car if Spouse’s Name is Included
☐ Taxes – Contact CPA or Accountant if needed – *Ensure a final Tax Return is Filed
☐ Disposition spouse’s vehicle
☐ Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to notify of passing
☐ Stop Subscriptions to Magazines, Online Services, Business Services
☐ Change emergency contacts at doctor’s offices and at any other applicable entities
☐ Eliminate memberships

☐ Gym / Sports
☐ Professional
☐ Fraternal Organizations
☐ Alumni Associations
☐ Recreational

☐ Delete social media accounts
☐ Cancel prescriptions
☐ Dispose of unused prescriptions – Many pharmacies will take and destroy unneeded prescriptions
☐ Cancel dr appointments and other appointments
☐ Cancel cell phone
☐ Dispose of or lockup guns
☐ If you have dependent children, be certain you have enough life and disability insurance


Long Term Actions


☐ Determine how to manage investments
☐ Educate yourself on personal finance and investing; and find a financial professional if you don’t already have one
☐ Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance plans
☐ Revise Your Will
☐ Revise Living Will
☐ Revise Power of Attorney
☐ Review Health Care Proxy
☐ Determine if changes to house security are needed
☐ Disposition spouse’s belongings

☐ Give items specified by will to family and friends as noted
☐ Determine what to save
☐ Determine what to sell
☐ Donate items not needed