What government programs need to know when someone dies

The only guarantees in life are death and taxes. When someone passes, government authorities must receive a notification.

It is a good idea to assign individuals to handle delivering these announcements. An estate planner can verify that every institution needing contact receives word.

Social Security Administration

The SSA ceases paying benefits the moment someone dies. Monies arriving afterward are invalid, and spending them could create legal trouble. It is preferable to have these funds stop rather than worrying about proof of their return.

Veterans Affairs

If the deceased is a veteran, those benefits need cancellation, too. Note that the VA sometimes provides burial assistance. Empower someone who understands the system to act as a representative.

Internal Revenue Service

When individuals die before April, they still must file individual tax returns. Since they are no longer present to handle the task, others must do it for them. How to file taxes for a decedent is not always clear. Assign a tax expert to the task for peace of mind.

Department of Motor Vehicles

Sometimes, motor vehicle licenses and disabled parking placards must return to the DMV. Find out the rules in your area by contacting your local branch. You will also want to transfer the title to the right inheritor. Approach representatives with proof that the new owner is correct.

Many government agencies mandate notification the moment someone passes on. It is up to the survivors to make sure this happens. Prepare in advance so that nothing falls through the cracks during your moment of grief.

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