My father just died at 102 so his death was not unexpected and it was a "good death" where family had an opportunity to say goodbye and he was in no pain. But then the paperwork exercise started immediately. I thought I'd give a few tips that helped me deal with all the notifications, etc. since for many people this just adds pain to the already difficult situation.

I was lucky and my parents had pre-arranged their funeral and had a cemetery plot. That made the arrangements easy and not a financial shock, which they would have been otherwise. Please try to do this if at all possible.

If they are a veteran and you want to have an Honor Guard at the funeral have a copy of the DD-214 - discharge paperwork - in hand. This was the most worrisome part of arranging his funeral. As a WWII veteran and retired military member he deserved the honor guard, but I didn't have a copy of the paperwork they required. I put an emergency request through to the National Archives, which can provide copies, but the paperwork came to me too late, the same day as the funeral. You can request this form by going on-line and you can have it all ready for when the need occurs. Luckily, my husband found his discharge papers from the end of WWII in a box of memorabilia and they were willing to accept that. Not everyone might be so lucky. A Navy Honor Guard was there and he would have loved it.

Then have a sheet with the phone numbers and account numbers for Social Security and any other retirement or pensions, health insurance, Medicare/Medicaid. These stop immediately and you'll want to not have to go through the hassle of paying back any deposits received after the death. These should be your first calls.

Then move on to credit cards, banks, investment accounts, etc. Having all the numbers in one place made it easy to just run through the list. I had a joint checking account with my father with me as the survivor so I continued to have access to that account to be able to pay his final bills. If I had been just the POA or authorized signator I would have lost my use of that account until after probate, etc. which would make paying for things much more difficult, especially things that are auto-debited. Many of the financial organizations asked for the death certificate which came a few days later but they allowed me to just upload a copy to them when I received it.

Have good signed copies of all Wills and Trusts. I THOUGHT I had a signed copy of the Will but I did not as it is locked in his Safe Deposit Box and I don't have access. The lawyer has provided me a copy of the signed copy which will work for many things but in case of problems is not as good as the original.

Make an appointment with a probate or trust attorney. I have one that will give me an hour free consultation to assure that I understand what I'm doing as Executor and Trustee. It shouldn't take more than an hour for me to get the legalese translated.

I was staying at a hotel when all this was taking place as we had no family left in the area where my dad was in assisted living. It actually made getting all this done easier because I could just sit there with no interruptions (my husband wandering into the kitchen, someone stopping by to give condolences, looking around the house at the dirty breakfast dishes still in the sink....) I managed to get all this done in a matter of hours, with lots of time devoted to being on "hold". I had kept all of this info saved on my phone so I had it with me and I had electronic copies of his ID cards, Insurance cards, Trust, the Medical POA which was needed by Hospice. I could just access and send them from my phone when requested. I'd done this years ago when I was traveli ng extensively, for just this very purpose. I never knew where I might be when I needed them.

I know as caregivers you all have so much on your plate day to day but having this organized was so helpful and made the process much easier.

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Thank you. I just had this conversation today with my husband. Sadly, the signs that the end is near are becoming obvious with my dad now.

I have these things in computer files for DH and myself. They can be stored in the Cloud and/or on the computer. My daughter has copies (sent to her with Dropbox). Also there are hard copies and originals stored safely in a lockbox. I can access Cloud storage anywhere from my phone or computer.

No paper shuffle, no wondering where it is. Technology is our friend. Those of you who don’t know how to use it should learn. It’s worth it.

Very helpful summary!

My condolences to you on the death of your beloved father.

Fantastic post. Thank you

Bumping this thread up because it’s so wonderful!

Wow! 102!!!

I’m so sorry for the loss of your father. I am glad that it was a “good death” as you so accurately described his final time on this earth.

I love that you took the time to write your father’s story and the way you settled things in the end.

My parents are deceased but I am sure that your detailed posting will help others when they reach the end of caregiving with their parents.

Please stay on the forum if you can because you have a lot of wisdom to share with others.

Wishing you peace as you grieve for your dad.

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