Who to Contact When Someone Dies

Find out who you need to call when a loved one dies

Last updated: 2 February 2017

Immediately after someone dies, you will need to contact a medical practitioner. If the death is unexpected, call 911 immediately. If the death was expected and it happened at home, contact your family physician or hospice worker.

In the days and weeks after the death of your loved one, you will need contact various organizations to inform them of the death.

Financial organizations

You will need to contact any financial organization where your loved one had an account. This includes savings accounts, credit cards, insurance policies and mortgages.

Many banks and financial institutions will freeze the account once they are notified of the death. To make things easier, you should ensure you have copies of the death certificate and copies of the letters of administration. This will prove that you have the legal authority to manage those accounts as part of your loved one’s estate.

Government agencies

If your loved one was receiving social security benefits, you must contact the Social Security Administration to inform them of your loved one’s death. There may also be government benefits available to you.

If your loved one was a veteran, you should inform the Department of Veterans Affairs of their death. There may be survivor benefits available to you or your family, depending on several qualification criteria.

Utilities and service providers

You may need contact various service providers to inform them of the death and cancel their services. These include the following:

  • Television, internet and telephone companies
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Other monthly subscriptions (for example, gym or club memberships)

Some of these organizations may require proof that you are the executor of your loved one’s estate, or a copy of the death certificate.

Redirecting mail

If you did not live with your loved one before they died, you may need to redirect their mail to your own address. You can inform the US Postal Service of your loved one’s death and have their mail redirected.

You can also contact the Direct Marketing Association to put your loved one on a ‘Deceased Do Not Contact’ list. This means that marketing companies that are part of the DMA will know not to contact your loved one as part of their marketing campaigns. This should help decrease advertising and commercial mail.