A guide for dealing with the death of a loved one, published by the Estate Planning Council of Seattle: 


  1. Introduction
  2. Immediate Concerns- 
    What to do First: Police, Doctors, Autopsies, Traveling, Organ Donations 
  3. Taking Care of Survivors 
    Normalizing Life as quickly as possible; Money; Emotions; Pets; Elder Care
  4. Taking Care of Funeral Arrangements 
    Choosing the type of internment; Deciding on a memorial service; Slecting the cemetery lot or niche and related financial aspects of the arrangements.
  5. Getting Organized 
    Going into the home; What to look for; Who to contact; Bills and debts; Scams and Con-Artists
  6. Legal Services- How Property Passes at Death 
    Locating the will; No will; Small estates; Probates; Will contests; Probate lawyer and other legal representatives; Creditors; Inventory of Assets; Closing the estate;Property in other estates; Guardians; Minor Children; Guardinaship for the deceased; Existing Trusts
  7. Informal Procedures- When No Court Proceeding is Needed 
    Community property agreement; Trusts; Joint Tennants and Right of Survivorship; POD Transfers; Life Insurance; Pensions; IRA’s and Annuities
  8. Life Insurance and Other Benefits 
    Locating policies and other coverage; Lost Policies; Filing a claim; Social Security benefits; Vetrans benefits; Employee benefits
  9. Taxes 
    Last income tax return; Estate income taxes; Estate Taxes- Federal and State; Property Outside Washington; Property Taxes
  10. Where to Get Help 
    Locating and Attorney, accountant, insurance agent, and funeral director; Locating a Life Insurance Policy; Obtaining a copy of the death certificate; How to change title to vehicles