It’s not easy knowing what to do following the death of a loved one. The Heritage Cremation Society is here to help walk you through all the steps involved. The process of “What to do next” can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if the death was unexpected. Here is what you can expect from The Heritage Cremation Society.
Our staff will record the death certificate with the local health department and secure copies as directed by the family or responsible party. Our staff will notify social security of the death and assist family with filing any claims. Benefits are only paid to a surviving spouse or dependent children. In order to receive the death benefit, the surviving spouse must complete the claim form with social security.
Our staff will coordinate any arrangements selected by the family. This includes a Memorial or Celebration of Life Service, private viewing or interment in a local cemetery or National Veterans Cemetery.
Our staff will prepare and write the obituary for the family at no charge including placement on our website. Please note that the newspaper will charge to run the obituary and the rate will vary depending on the newspaper. Most newspapers charge by the word or line and charge an additional fee to include a picture.
Our staff will provide options to families interested in urns, urn vaults or other memorial packages.
- Contact attorney, accountant and executor of estate.
- Determine number of death certificates required. One per life insurance policy unless they are with the same company.
- Contact employer. Find out about compensation due, benefits, whether dependents are still eligible for coverage, whether or not there is life insurance coverage through the company.
- Contact social security and other agencies or benefit programs that may be making payments to the deceased. The Social Security Administration toll free number is 800-772-1213 – or you can visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you will have to return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. SSA may provide a one-time $255.00 death benefit to a surviving spouse or dependent child.
- Contact the Veterans Administration to stop any monthly disability benefits and determine if there are any funeral or death benefits available 800-827-1000.
- Contact life insurance companies and determine what is needed to file a claim.
- Contact credit card and charge card companies to cancel and pay-off any balances.
- Contact banks to determine what is required. If they require a death certificate, give them an original and let them make a copy for their records.
- Most will not accept a copy from you.
- Contact utility companies to alter or discontinue service.
- Contact newspaper publishers to stop subscription.
- Contact post office, if necessary, to forward mail.
- Review old records (tax returns, bank and brokerage statements, titles to vehicles, checkbooks, etc)
- Find estate documents including will, trust and power of attorney papers.
- Find key financial documents including stock certificates, bearer bonds, etc.
- Collect asset information including life insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, real estate interests and business ownerships.
- Collect liability information including mortgages on real estate, taxes owed, credit card debt, credit line debt and unpaid bills.
- Determine location of safe deposit box and keys.
- Inventory personal belongings.
- Review estate information with attorney including probate issues.
- File tax return for the deceased.