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What is a Survivor Checklist?

If a loved one has passed away you're likely going through a lot, but you still need to take care of obligations with a Survivor Checklist. What documents do you need to gather and who needs to be informed? Taking care of an estate can be a big undertaking, but don't be overwhelmed, having a Survivor Checklist can help you gather information and stay organized. 
A Survivor Checklist is likely something you don't think about until you need it. There's a lot to take care of when someone passes away and you might not know where to start. Managing an estate, compiling all the necessary forms and documents, and figuring out the finances and assets that the deceased had - there's a lot to keep track of, even if your loved one had a living trust and an up to date will. You're grieving, and having to work through these complications doesn't help, but having a Survivor Checklist can help make things a little easier.

When to use a Survivor Checklist:

  • You're administering someone's estate.
  • You need to notify beneficiaries of someone's passing.
  • You have to figure out the financials of a deceased person.
  • You need to figure out the details of someone's estate.

Sample Survivor Checklist

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The following personal, financial, and legal information has been gathered to assist with the handling of the estate procedures for (the "Decedent"). This Survivor Checklist provides information about the Decedent's address and personal items, heirs and beneficiaries, and financial information. It includes most (if not all) of the information needed to decide whether or not formal estate procedures are required. Further, information regarding the Decedent's legal and financial advisors and other important contacts is included so that further details can be obtained from the appropriate parties.


. PERSONAL INFORMATION: The following personal information is provided about the Decedent:


Decedent's name:




Date of birth:

Date of death:






. LEGAL AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS: The Decedent's financial advisors included the following:


. ESTATE DOCUMENTS: The Decedent's estate planning included the following documents:


. RESPONSIBLE PERSONS: The following persons or entities are the most knowledgeable about the Decedent's financial and personal matters, and are the most likely to be involved in handling the Decedent's estate:



The Decedent and the surviving spouse had not entered into a premarital agreement.

The Decedent and the surviving spouse had entered into a premarital agreement as follows:


  Name of Agreement:

  Date of Agreement:





All of the Decedent's children are also the children of the surviving spouse.Information regarding the other parent of the Decedent's child(ren) is shown below:


  Child: _________________________

  Child's Other Parent: _________________________


  Child: _________________________

  Child's Other Parent: _________________________




















Final Instructions for the

Survivor Checklist for


Make It Legal


* The Survivor Checklist is not a legal document and does not need to be signed.


Other Information


* Certain information may not be available at the time the checklist is first prepared. Blank lines have been printed for questions where you answered "yes" and then provided no information or incomplete information.


* To update the Survivor Checklist, open the saved copy and enter the new or additional information.




If possible, obtain and attach copies of the following documents:


* Death Certificate

* , dated  


Reasons to Update


* This checklist should be updated one or more times as new or additional information regarding the personal and financial information of becomes available.

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