Checklist if your family member dies

This checklist mentions things that have to be arranged if your spouse/partner or other family member dies. Not all of the items need necessarily concern your situation.

We are sincerely sorry for your loss.

  • Hospitals and care providers send information about a patient's death to the population information system maintained by the Population Register Centre, and for instance Kela and the pension providers obtain the information from the system.
  • In case of a sudden death somewhere else than in a hospital or care facility, the police should be notified. If needed, the police arranges an investigation into the cause of death and forwards the information.
  • If the deceased received a pension from Kela, Kela should be notified of the person's death, if necessary. The notification should be made as soon as possible since pensions and other benefits must be paid back if they have been paid after the month of death. The consent of the estate is not needed for the recovery. Kela provides further information about this.
  • If the deceased received maternity allowance at the time of death, the child's father can receive the benefit in the form of parental allowance.
  • Notify the post office so that the mail can be directed to the administrator of the estate. For instance, often the surviving spouse or the deceased's child is the administrator of the estate.
  • If your family member had government-guaranteed student loan debt, it is not recorded in the estate inventory deed. Kela will grant the estate an exemption from the repayment of the remaining debt.
  • Notify the bank so that the deceased's bank account and possible safety-deposit box are not misused. Also notify the bank of the administrator of the estate, who has the right to handle the affairs of the estate. The notifications must be made in writing.
  • Notify the insurance company if the deceased had a valid life insurance policy or other insurance policy.
  • Inform the deceased's employer about the death so that the payment of wages can be stopped and the employer can claim compensation from the group life assurance policy.
  • If you or your dependants are entitled to a survivors' pension you should complete an application for spouse's pension and for orphan's pension. Send the application to Kela or a service location of the authorised pension provider. With the same application form you can apply for survivors' pensions under both the National Pensions Act and the earnings-related pension legislation.
  • If you have children aged under 17 years, you should apply for a single-parent supplement to the child benefit from Kela. You will be granted the supplement if you have not started a new relationship after the death of your former spouse/partner.
  • You can arrange the funeral yourself or ask an undertaker to arrange it.
  • Inform all the inheritors about the deceased's possible will or testament.
  • An estate inventory meeting must be held within three months of the death. For this purpose, a seamless genealogy and official certificates for the parties to the estate must be submitted.
  • Transfer the insurance policies of the home and other property as well as electricity, water and waste disposal contracts to your own or some other inheritor’s name.
  • Remember to give notice for rental accommodation if the accommodation will remain empty.
  • Remember to terminate all the deceased's accounts in social media and other online services. Different services have differing instructions for how you terminate an account. If you know the user IDs and passwords, you can in some services terminate the accounts using these user IDs and passwords.

The website of your insurance company can also provide useful information.

Further information

Last modified 16/11/2017
Updated 25/04/2017