You may want to seek help from a financial advisor, but here are some guidelines:

  • Vehicles: The title may need to be modified.
  • Insurance policies: You may need to change the beneficiaries of the deceased’s spouse’s life insurance policies, or decrease the amount. Home and auto insurance may also need to be revised.
  • Bank accounts: A joint bank account will automatically pass to the deceased’s spouse, but let the bank know to change the ownership records. If the deceased’s name was the only name on the account, expect to go through probate.
  • Safe deposit box: If the deceased is the sole name on the safe deposit box, you’ll need a court order to open it.
  • Stocks and bonds: Contact the deceased’s broker to change the title of stocks and bonds.
  • Credit cards: If the deceased is the sole name on the credit card, cancel the account. The estate should handle any remaining payments. For joint credit cards, the spouse should inform the issuer and ask for new cards with only the survivor’s name.