Information for Getting Your House in Order

“When a family has never experienced death and it happens, they can become totally numb to what the next steps should be. If they don’t have a close advisor, they often sit for a few days wondering what needs to be done. Such a family would really be in bad shape if, in addition to not knowing what to do, they have no life insurance or funds to pay for the service.”

Department of Veterans Affairs

If your spouse was a member of the Armed Forces, there are several steps to take to ensure you have alerted the proper agencies. You should also be aware of the various spousal benefits for which you may qualify. If you are claiming benefits as the surviving spouse, you will have to provide a copy of your marriage license. There are several departments you must notify when a military service member or retiree dies.

Office of Personnel Management

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) serves as the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government. If you or a family member ever served as an employee of the US government, you should contact OPM as soon as possible to determine benefits eligibility.

Social Security Administration

You should let Social Security know as soon as possible when a person in your family dies. Usually, the funeral director will report the person’s death to Social Security. You’ll need to give the deceased’s Social Security number to the funeral director so they can make the report.

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