A checklist for families

There are many things someone must take care of after a death. For example, it may be necessary to keep an eye on an empty apartment, empty the refrigerator and take care of pets. If any of the deceased’s property was left at the hospital, it needs to be picked up.

Contact with authorities

The doctor who issues the death certificate will send information about the death to registrar authorities to be entered into the census record system. This way, the information will also be relayed to pension institutions and banks.

Mail and direct marketing

Direct marketing companies receive information about deaths from the census record system, but keep in mind that direct marketing address lists are updated infrequently. Direct marketing letters addressed to the deceased may keep arriving even months after death.

If the apartment of the deceased is empty, you should have mail forwarded to a close relative. The executor of the estate may receive registered mail using the official certificate of the deceased and an authorization from distributees of the estate.

Which things can be handled by a single distributee of the estate?

Even a single distributee of an estate may pay the bills of the deceased from the estate’s account, receive statements of the deceased’s bank accounts, cancel direct billing from the deceased’s accounts, order documents for the estate inventory and make funeral arrangements.

What do I need an official certificate for?

An official certificate is used for handling practical matters at banks, insurance companies etc. A death certificate is not required, unless dealing with a party that requires information about the deceased’s cause of death. An unbroken chain of official certificates is required as an appendix of the estate inventory. What is primarily needed is an official certificate specifying a person’s date of death and any distributees of the estate. Such a certificate can be obtained easily from the magistrate.

Other useful things to remember

Organizations, clubs and associations

Cancellation of membership is not the only reason to contact organizations the deceased has been a member of. A community where the deceased has actively participated might like to send its representative to the funeral or deliver flowers or a sympathy card to the family.

It is also possible that different member deposits or payments may be returned to the estate. Listed below are examples of some of the most common organizations:

  • Trade union
  • Hobby club
  • Choir, orchestra
  • Agricultural society, hunting club
  • Trailer association
  • Martha organization
  • Sports club, other association
  • Cooperative
  • Political party department, veterans’ associations
  • Rotary/Lions Club/Freemasons


Besides different life, property and savings insurances, there are many separate insurances for things like mobile phones, computers, televisions etc. Some insurances may no longer be relevant, while others may need to be moved under a different person’s name.

It is also important to remember to apply for any applicable insurance compensations.

  • Life insurance
  • Group life insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Pension insurance
  • Savings insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Traveler’s insurance

Subscriptions and contracts

To avoid unnecessary expenses for the estate and family, it is important to terminate any subscriptions and contracts. It may also be purposeful to transfer a contract or subscription under some family member’s name.

  • Rental agreement
  • Garage/parking spot
  • Water/wastewater
  • Telephones, Internet
  • Satellite and cable television
  • Bank billing service
  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
  • Catering service