After the death of a spouse, the surviving partner should obtain copies of the death certificate and letters of administration. It is a good idea to consult an attorney, especially if an estate with significant assets is involved. In addition, all creditors and banks should be informed of the demise.
The surviving husband or wife should apply for survivor's benefits, including the Social Security Administration's one-time death benefit. Administrators of 401(K) funds and life insurance companies should also be notified.
The family of the decedent should compose an obituary to appear in local papers. Final bills should be paid, and memberships to clubs and other organizations should be cancelled, advises AARP.