What do I do after an aging parents dies?
File a Death Notice with Social Security Death Records

Social security death records are required by law and help prevent identity theft. In the midst of the grief of losing a parent, you suddenly find a new and longer "to do list". The Social Security Administration (US government) maintains all the records of births, marriage, divorces and deaths. Here's what to do after a parents dies to file a death notice.

Social Security needs to be notified quickly after your parents death. As soon as possible is best. There are two ways to accomplish this.

1. Ask the funeral director that is handling your parent's affairs. Most often the funeral home handles filing the death notice with social security. All they will need is your parent's social security number, along with their complete name.(Include both their birthname and married name if your parent changed their name when married.)

2. The second way is for you, another member of the family, or whoever is responsible for the beneficiary's affairs to call the Social Security office toll-free and notify them of the beneficiary's death.

To Notify Social Security of Beneficiary's Death

Toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. (TTY 1-800-325-0778)


Pay attention to this notice from SSA if your parent was already receiving Social Security. You'll need to plan ahead so that you and your family will not be in a jam in the last month of your parent's life, or end up having to pay a penalty later. (Bold is mine.)

"If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. For example, if the person dies in July, you must return the benefit paid in August. If benefits were paid by direct deposit, contact the bank or other financial institution. Request that any funds received for the month of death or later be returned to Social Security. If the benefits were paid by check, do not cash any checks received for the month in which the person dies or later. Return the checks to Social Security as soon as possible."

Social Security Death Records to Aging Parents Home Page

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