Notify government agencies
The name of a deceased person will remain in a number of government databases until the proper agencies are notified of the death.
In order to prevent unwanted bills or fraud, follow the below steps.
There are four government agencies that should be informed after someone passes away:
- Social Security Administration
- State or county Vital Records Office
- State Dept. of Motor Vehicles
- United States Postal Service
Additional government agencies may need to be contacted based on the deceased's circumstances.
The most important government agency to contact is the Social Security Administration (SSA), whether or not the deceased was receiving social security benefits.
The estate's executor or the deceased's surviving spouse should contact the SSA as soon as possible.
By contacting the SSA early on, you can help prevent the misuse of the deceased’s social security number.
Some funeral directors may report the death as part of their service offering. But if not, contact the office directly by telephone; this cannot be done online.
The state office of vital records might take care of informing the DMV on your behalf. If they do not handle this directly, make an appointment with the local DMV to terminate an active driver’s license.
The executor of the estate is allowed to contact the USPS on behalf of the deceased to get mail forwarded.
If the deceased was ever in the U.S. military, Veterans Affairs should be informed.
If the deceased was a registered voter, the local board of elections should also be notified.