The Coroner's Office makes every effort to promptly return your loved one's personal effects, provided these items are not considered evidence. Non-evidentiary items are either sent with your loved one to the funeral home or arrangements are made to pick the property at the office.
A Helpful Checklist
In addition to funeral arrangements, there are many decision you may need to make and/or many items you may need to address during this difficult time. The following checklist provides examples of some of these items. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Rather, it is designed to give you some ideas about details that may require your attention in the upcoming days and weeks.
- Obtain certified death certificates - These will be required to receive any benefits and/or funds from trusts, annuities, insurance, social security, property transfers, bank accounts, etc. Certified death certificates are usually less expensive and easier to obtain from the funeral home when funeral arrangements are made. It is suggested that you order 10 copies initially and that you contact the funeral home if more copies are needed. A permanent death certificate will not be available until all reports are received by this office and that may take upward of 6 to 8 weeks following the date of death.
- Notify important financial and insurance entities - Various entities will need to be notified, including banks, trusts, credit unions, etc. The name will need to be changed on accounts. The decedent's employer should be notified to check on the status of any death benefits and/or life insurance policies.
- Check for any benefits - Check with providers of any benefits paid regularly to the decedent when alive, including:
- Automobile insurance
- Benefits from Social Security Administration for spouse and minor children
- Health insurance for dependent survivors
- Life and/or accident insurance
- Profit-sharing plans or 401k program benefits
- Veterans Administration benefits (if your loved one was a veteran)
- Pay all bills and taxes owed - These will need to be paid as soon as possible, and might include funeral fees, income taxes, real estate taxes, home mortgage, hospital bills, etc.
- File a will in Probate Court - This needs to be done within 30 days, if necessary. A lawyer can advise you on this.
- Make household arrangements - If the deceased lived alone, then pets, newspapers, mail, phone, utilities, etc. must also be considered.
For More Information
If you have any questions, please contact the Coroner's Office at (309) 888-5210.