100 Things That Must be Done by the Survivor

A couple of years ago, the incomparable Vera James, moderator of one of the online MSA-related support groups, posted a list of “87 Things That Must Be Done by the Survivor” upon the death of a spouse or loved one. Recently, Vera emailed me a list of “100 Things That Must be Done by the Survivor.”  Vera figured that the revision was done to make it a nicer-sounding number.

As suggested by the list-maker, it’s better if we all provide details about these 100 tasks well before we die so that our survivors will know what our wishes are and how to proceed.

I’ve copied the full list below.



100 Things That Must Be Done By the Survivor
Prepared In Every Way (preparedineveryway/blog)

Many of these details can be planned ahead of time. By making these important decisions now, you can minimize the emotional strain that will be placed on your survivors.

Secure Vital Statistics: (required for burial permit)
1.  Name, address and phone number
2.  How long in state
3.  Name of business, address and phone
4.  Occupation and title
5.  Social Security number
6.  War Veterans Serial Number
7.  Date of birth
8.  Place of birth
9.  US Citizen
10.  Father’s name
11.  Father’s birthplace
12.  Mother’s maiden name
13.  Mother’s birthplace
14.  Religions name (if any)

Pay some or all of the following:
1.  Family burial estate
2.  Memorials
3.  Funeral director
4.  Interment Service
5.  Clergy
6.  Florist
7.  Clothing
8.  Transportation
9.  Telephone and telegraph
10.  Food
11.  Doctors
12.  Nurses
13.  Hospitals and ambulance
14.  Medicine and drugs
15.  Other current and urgent bills (mortgage or rent, taxes, installment payments)

Collect Documents (required to establish rights for insurance, pensions, social security, ownership, relationship, etc.):
1.  Will
2.  Legal proof of age or birth certificate
3.  Social Security card or number
4.  Marriage license
5.  Citizenship papers
6.  Insurance policies (life, health and accident, property)
7.  Bank books and credit cards
8.  Deeds to property
9.  Bill of sale of car
10.  Income tax returns, receipts or cancelled checks
11.  Veterans discharge certificate
12.  Disability claims
13.  Memorial park certificate of ownership

Decide and Arrange Within a Few Hours:
1.  Burial estate location and space
2.  Memorial type inscription
3.  Casket type
4.  Clothing for deceased
5.  Vault or sectional crypt
6.  Type of service (religious, military, fraternal)
7.  Special selection from scriptures
8.  Clergy to officiate
9.  Name of funeral director
10.  Place where service is to be held
11.  Time for funeral service
12.  Name of charitable organization to which donations are suggested in memory of deceased
13.  Providing information for eulogy
14.  Select names for pallbearers
15.  Music
16.  Clothing for you and children
17.  Preparation at home, including food for family and guests
18.  Extra chairs
19.  Transportation for family and guests, including planning funeral car list
20.  Checking and signing necessary papers for burial permit
21.  Providing vital statistics about deceased to newspapers.
22.  Providing addresses and telephone numbers for all interested people
23.  Answering innumerable sympathetic phone calls, messages, wires and letters
24.  Meeting and talking with funeral director, cemetery representative clergy, about all details.
25.  Greeting all friends and relatives who call
26.  Arranging for meeting relatives who call
27.  Arranging for meeting relatives who arrive from out of state at airport or railroad/bus station
28.  Providing lodging for out-of-town relatives
29.  Arranging for special religious services
30.  Check the Will regarding special wishes
31.  Order death certificate (multiple copies)
32.  Look after minor children

Notify as soon as possible:
1.  The doctor or doctors
2.  The funeral director
3.  The memorial park
4.  All relatives
5.  All friends (email?)
6.  Employer of deceased
7.  Employers of relatives not going to work
8.  Casket bearers
9.  Insurance agents (life, health and accident)
10.  Religious, fraternal, civic, veterans organizations, unions
11.  Newspapers regarding notices
12.  Attorney, accountant, or executor of estate

Additional Advice
1.  Business online – user names, passwords
2.  Banking online – user names, passwords
3.  Friends online – email, passwords
4.  Distribution of personal property
5.  Advise who they can trust to advise in their absence
6.  Tell about loans receivable/bartering
7.  Know where stock certificates are located
8.  Locate “free” insurance policies from banks, credit cards, AAA
9.  Complete an Advance Directive, Do Not Resuscitate
10.  Who has access to Safe Deposit? Where are keys?
11.  PINs for bank and other accounts
12.  Record information in something portable
13.  Discuss directions with your family
14.  Review this list regularly