Death of Member



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 Don’t be lost:
To often spouses and families are left in a quandary upon the death of a loved. Few situations in life are more stressful than when a spouse passes. All too often we have a difficult time focusing on the issues at hand and need guidance to get the deceased affairs in order. The following is a general guide for the widow/er regarding important notifications that must be made by the surviving spouse and information you should have on hand when a retiree dies.


Get organized now. When someone dies, one of the big problems for beneficiaries is locating the things necessary to settle the estate. Make sure you know before the death occurs where to find the following documents and information…

  •  Will

  •  Living Will

  •  Trusts

  •  Deeds (if any)

  •  Safe-deposit boxes (location of boxes, contents and keys)

  •  Life insurance policies

  •  Funeral and burial instructions

  •  Names and addresses of creditors and debtors

  •  List of assets and where they are located

  •  list of all advisers—attorney, accountant, insurance agent, stockbroker, etc.



  • NYC Police Pension Fund either in writing or by telephone

233 Broadway, 25th Floor

New York, New York 10279

Attention: Retiree Death Benefits Unit

Telephone (212) 693-5607/5919

  • Contact the appropriate Union for a possible existing life insurance policy and also for continuation of optional benefits, if qualified.

  • Police Officers- Patrolmen’s
    Benevolent Association (P.B.A)(212) 233-5531

  • Detectives-Detectives’ Endowment
    Association (D.E.A.) (212) 587-9120

  • Sergeants- Sergeant’s Benevolent
    Association (S.B.A.) (212) 431-6555

  •  Lieutenants and above-Superior Officers Council (S.O.C) (212) 964-7500

  • Contact the NYC Health Benefits Program for Special Continuation of coverage application (coverage for life) located at 40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor, New York 10006 (212) 513-0470.

    Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. COBRA has a safety net. If spouse or dependent was covered under deceased’s health plan they may continue coverage under COBRA for up to 36 months.
    New York State in 2001 amended the
    Administrative Code to continue Health Care Coverage for
    Surviving Spouses for Life

    (Download Information Regarding this Amendment)

This enables

the deceased’s spouse and/or dependents to receive coverage at the group rate. The City and the Line Organization health benefits stop at the death of the members. The rate, though high, is cheaper than the non group rate.

  • NYC Employee Benefits 1-(212)

  • Contact the NYPD Operations
    Unit located at One Police Plaza, telephone # (646) 610-5580, for pall bearers (all five boroughs, all of Long Island and Upstate New York but not beyond Dutchess County).
  • Social Security: 1-800 772-1213 (Funeral Director will usually do this for you)


  • Fraternal Organizations to arrange for visitors, Color Guard and possible insurance benefits

  • If a veteran, Notify the Veterans Administration   (Usually Funeral Director will do this for you also Church or Temple for announcements and to arrange for funeral)

  • 1-800 827-1000, Gravemarker, Funeral Allowance, Flag (See Funeral Director) If can’t find discharge or DD 214, Need date of Enlistment, date of Discharge, Branch & Serial Number. if deceased had 100% disability for 10 years spouse is entitled to an additional benefit.



Death Certificates are necessary in every
step to the successful administration of a decedent’s
estate. (Usually Funeral will obtain certificates as part of his service at current cost)

  • Pension Bureau

  • Veterans Administration (if a veteran)

  • Motor Vehicle Bureau if auto was in deceased’s name. 1 for each insurance policy

  • Probate Court (If probate is needed)

  • Your State Department of Revenue to obtain non-tax certificate if real property is involved.

  • Bank accounts held in Trust for another 1 for each account if property held in a Trust

  • Personal Records

Note: If estate is probated, some of the above will take a Letter Testamentary instead of a Death certificate.



  • Social Security, (not necessary if surviving spouse already receiving benefits)

  • Veterans Administration, if a veteran.


  •  Motor Vehicle Bureau if auto is in the deceased’s name.

  • One for each bank account, brokerage house account, share of stock or bonds, etc. that were in the deceased’s name alone.


– Original needed for Social Security, if
spouse was not already receiving benefits. Service time counts toward qualification. They will photostat. 1 for Veterans Administration, if a veteran.



1 for Pension Bureau, 1 for Probate Court, 1 for
I.R.S. if taxable estate.



  • Cancel the lease. If your parent or loved one rented a home, cancel the lease after clearing out the furnishings.

  • .Inform insurance companies. File life insurance claims for any policies on the person’s life, and request that the insurers send you Form 712, Life Insurance Statement(a statement about the life insurance that must be filed with the estate tax return).

  • Make sure the car insurance company continues to cover the person’s car until it’s sold or transferred to a beneficiary.

  • Make sure the homeowners policy continues to provide adequate coverage for the person’s things until removed from the home.

companies the person did business with.

  • Cancel credit cards, and close charge accounts.

  • Tell airlines to transfer frequent-flier miles (in attendance with the will  to the primary beneficiary).

Gather assets.
This doesn’t mean piling them all together. It means getting a list of all the assets at the time of the decedent’s death, along with copies of statements, deeds, etc. This information is needed for probate. It’s also essential for filing federal and state estate tax returns, if required.

Review IRAs.
If the surviving spouse is the beneficiary, decide whether to roll an IRA over to the surviving spouse.


Get good advice—and get it now. The money you pay to
attorneys and other advisers to resolve issues up front can be much lower than if you deal with problems after a person’s death.


In case of couples, usually most of the property is held in joint names and the survivor obtains same “by operation of law”. However, there may be some items which were held in the name of the deceased only, and in that case it would be necessary to go to Probate Court to transfer ownership of that
property, unless listed in a trust.

Consideration should also be given to making pre-death funeral arrangements. This provision, no matter how painful, should be discussed by couples and by parents with their families. Too often, spouse and children spend much too much money on a funeral and do so without really knowing what were the
deceased’s wishes in this regard (Place of burial,
Cremation, etc.)

Consideration should also be given to having a “Family Durable Power of Attorney” (Someone to take over your finances if you become
incapacitated or incompetent)

There are no words of comfort at such a difficult time, however if you have all the necessary information at the ready it will expedite any claim that is pending, make the process run smoothly and
your stress level can be minimized.

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