WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE DIES
NOTE: This document should not be considered legal advice.
Any questions should be referred to a licensed professional in your
state of permanent residence.
BEFORE YOU THINK YOU NEED IT
[See the end page of this document for Lockheed Martin and ULA benefit contact information.]
Create a file folder or notebook with all information you can gather
about employment records, insurance policies, burial plan policy, bank
accounts, stocks, bonds, CDs and IRAs, credit cards, wills, location of
safety deposit boxes and keys, real estate deeds, etc. Be certain
that employment records contain all information for your employee
benefits office that your family member or representative will need to
report your death and start any survivors’ benefits. Organize the
information with account numbers, contact names, telephone numbers,
addresses, websites, login information and passwords. Have your
Executor, Successor, Trustee or loved one review everything to be
certain it is clear. Review your information periodically to
ensure it is up to date.
Identify any “free” accidental death insurance or other insurance
policies you may have received through a bank or credit card
company. Include this information in your folder.
If you want to be a tissue/organ donor, ensure your medical team and
family know and will honor your desire. If you have a Living
Will, Do Not Resuscitate Order or any other instructions in the event
of a medical emergency, injury or death, put a copy with the
information previously gathered and ensure that your doctor has it and
family members know where to find it.
Review your will and trusts to ensure they are current and written to
minimize taxes. Verify they are valid for the state in which you
are now living. Did you designate an Executor to manage your estate in
probate? Consider consulting an estate or trust attorney to avoid
financial pitfalls. Do you have any special property, art,
collections or business agreements requiring particular handling?
Review and document desired funeral arrangements (e.g., mortuary or
crematory, pallbearers, church or cemetery). Have you
pre-purchased a plan? (Note: By law, a mortuary must provide
price information over the phone.) Do you belong to a fraternal
order or religious group that may make special arrangements for the
funeral? If you were in the military, they may provide a military
If you or a family member has a serious care need (in a long-term care
facility, assisted living, or hospice care), ensure that you know the
medical wishes and where all the above information is located for that
family member. These facilities usually require a legal Medical
Directive when the person is admitted. Is there a member of your
family with a disability for which lifetime care must be provided? This
is especially important if your family member under care survives you!
IMMEDIATELY UPON THE DEATH OF YOUR LOVED ONE
1. Get a legal pronouncement of death. If no doctor is present you will need someone to do this
the person dies at home without hospice care, have the
Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) document in hand then call 911.
Without a DNR, the paramedics usually must begin emergency treatment
measures and transport to an emergency facility for a doctor to
pronounce death. If the person was a tissue/organ donor, notify
the doctor or paramedics immediately.
the person is under hospice care, call the hospice nurse who can
declare death and help with arrangements to transport the body.
Notify the person’s doctor or county coroner. Request multiple
copies of the death certificate—they are needed for financial
institutions, insurance companies and government agencies, etc. There
will be more needed than you think is logical.
- If no
autopsy is required, arrange for transportation to a mortuary or
crematorium. Notify them of any prearrangements. (Note: By
law, a mortuary must provide price information over the phone.)
2. Notify close family and friends. Ask them to pass the information to others.
Notify the employer if the person was still working. Be certain
that contact information for the person’s employee benefits office
includes all information the representative will need to report the
person’s death and initiate any survivors’ benefits. If the
person is a volunteer, notify those entities.
Ask someone to watch the person’s home, collect mail, answer the
phone. Arrange for care of dependents and any pets. Water
plants and dispose of perishable foods.
Locate any special instructions such as burial, funeral, or other such
arrangements the person may have made. If arrangements have not been
made, contact a funeral home or mortuary concerning burial or cremation
arrangements. By law, a mortuary must provide price info over the
Prepare an obituary. Is there a particular memorial desired
(e.g., medical research group, charity, welfare society, or scholarship
UP TO TEN DAYS AFTER THE DEATH
Here is where
all the information accumulated in the first paragraph and copies of
the Death Certificate noted above become really important!
1. Take the will to the appropriate county or city office to have it accepted for probate.
Inventory any personal property (e.g., furnishings, jewelry, art,
memorabilia, and special equipment). Determine how the property is to
be handled (e.g., transferred to the surviving spouse, bequeathed,
sold, or donated).
If necessary the Executor, Successor or Trustee should open a bank
account for the deceased’s estate, gather records for creditor
payments, tax reports, etc.
Security Administration (800-772-1213; ssa.gov) and any other
government agency (Veterans association?) or company benefit program
that may be making payments to the person deceased.
enforcement to request they periodically check the property. This
is especially important if the person’s home is not occupied.
There are those who read obituaries to find homes to rob!
trust and estates attorney for any property titles or assets to be
transferred to survivors and heirs or probate issues resolution. Is a
personal attorney involved?
- The investment advisor for information on holdings.
- Bank(s), for accounts and safe deposit box.
- Life insurance agents.
- Utility companies and postal service to cancel service or make necessary changes.
- Credit card companies, internet provider, auto pay accounts, other creditors.
- Any clubs, professional associations or societies, alumni groups.
This list is not all-inclusive—there may be other entities requiring contact.
Retain receipts, documentation of expenses, and other estate
information for evaluation by tax preparer for deceased person’s tax
return. Trust accounts require special tax handling depending on
the state where the trust was written and type of trust. An
estate tax specialist may be required.
Be alert for unscrupulous attempts to lay claim to property.
Require documentation and verify any claims. Do not rush to make
distributions—sometimes family disagreements regarding medical care or
terms of the will arise. Probate Court may be needed for
Lockheed Martin Benefits and ULA Benefits contact information.
If a retiree or spouse need to report a death, they should call both numbers to see what they need to do.
ULA Benefits Center: 866-404-629
Voya (formerly called ING, our 401k vendor): 877-852-4015
They may also need to call on Heritage Pension Plans
Lockheed Martin or MMC: 866-562-236
General Dynamics: 888-432-3633
FOR LOCKHEED MARTIN:
Lockheed Martin Employee Service Center
Phone number: 1-866-562-2363
Fax number: 973-837-3330