Notifying utility companies

Manage Accounts

Utility companies should be informed of the deceased's passing as soon as possible.

To prevent unwanted bills, cancel utilities no longer needed at the deceased's property.

If the property will be sold, or inherited by a surviving family member or beneficiary named in a last will & testament, transfer ownership of the utility accounts to the new owner.

To cancel or transfer an account, the utility company will usually require some or all of the following:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Date of death
  • Deceased's social security number
  • Death Certificate

Check to ensure that all final payments have been made so as to not pay interest on overdue charges.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant The surviving family, beneficiary or executor of the estate, should not pay any overdue bills or debt incurred by the deceased.

These final bills should only be paid for by using money from the estate during probate.

Helpful Tips


  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Heat
  • Water
  • Trash
  • Sewage

Personal Considerations


Did the deceased own the property they lived in?


If someone will still live in the home, the account should be transferred to their name.

If the home is a rental and will be returned to the landlord, speak with them to negotiate a utility transfer date.

If the home will be sold or will be kept in the short term, maintain an active utility account with the name of the estate.

The property’s value should be maintained throughout probate, so utilities should continued to be paid.

Turning off the heat in winter could jeopardize the value of the home and could lead to burst pipes.

Continue to maintain basic utilities (e.g., heat, electricity and water) to prevent problems later on.

Continued payments of utilities should be made out of estate funds.

Any outstanding debts will be covered as part of the probate process.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More To learn more about managing the deceased's real estate during probate, see the “Manage real estate” section of the Guide.


You will need to discuss transferring utilities as part of cancelling the lease with the deceased's landlord.

If the deceased lived with roommates or other co-tenants, discuss transferring any utility accounts with them.


If the deceased owned their property:

If someone will still live in the home, the account should be transferred to their name.

If the home is a rental and will be returned to the landlord, speak with them to negotiate a utility transfer date.

If the home will be sold or will be kept in the short term, maintain an active utility account with the name of the estate.

The property’s value should be maintained throughout probate, so utilities should continued to be paid.

Turning off the heat in winter could jeopardize the value of the home and could lead to burst pipes.

Continue to maintain basic utilities (e.g., heat, electricity and water) to prevent problems later on.

Continued payments of utilities should be made out of estate funds.

Any outstanding debts will be covered as part of the probate process.

Guides_Icon.svgRead More To learn more about managing the deceased's real estate during probate, see the “Manage real estate” section of the Guide.

If the deceased rented the property they lived in:

You will need to discuss transferring utilities as part of cancelling the lease with the deceased's landlord.

If the deceased lived with roommates or other co-tenants, discuss transferring any utility accounts with them.


Manage Accounts