Utilities and maintenance are additional considerations - similar to safety and security - after the death of a loved one. Whether or not someone continues to live in the dwelling, necessities like electricity, oil, water, sewage, etc. need to be continued until such time as the home is no longer the legal jurisdiction of the deceased or their estate.
It is most helpful if the deceased provided a pre-death planning document. We encourage everyone to consider such a document, similar to our planning document "When I Leave You" .
All utilities will need to be listed in this document, including:
There may be many more depending on the individual and the location, but the type of utilities will include at least the following:
Again, depending on the timing and what is needed to clear the dwelling, some of these may be cancelled at the death of your loved one - telephone, mobile, and cable for example.
However, heating/cooling systems, alarm systems, and electric are best retained until such time that no one is visiting or working in the house (like home and liability insurance as well).
It is always best if you preplan and leave complete information about your mortgage or rent for your Executor/Executrix
If you use a planning document, we suggest that you include contact information on your home's mortgage
If you are a renter, you should provide contact information on your rental agreement
Homeowners know that upkeep of a residence is necessary. Often, we hire professionals to help us with maintenance jobs.
In your pre-death planning documents, it is also important to include a list of those companies/individuals/apps that you have hired or used to assist you with this upkeep.
Some examples of common maintenance include (although this is by no means a complete maintenance list):
While your list will be unique to you and your lifestyle, you will want to leave the following information for your Executor/Executrix or the Person-in-Charge. He or she will need to know these necessary details to cancel these services at the appropriate time.
The Police should be notified if the deceased was living independently. Irrespective of whether or not someone will continue to reside in the home, for security purposes let the police know of the death.
Whether the deceased owned or rented or owned the home, mortgages and rental obligations still need to be paid and settled.
What about rental or investment properties? Vacation homes? Timeshares?
Step-by-step guide to what to do first. Calls, paperwork, Care Arrangements, etc.
Detailed guide to prepare or fulfill final wishes
Where do you start? Physical remains, funeral options, death certificates, memorial services and more...
Next hurdle -how to handle financial records and accounts
What you need to know to protect and eliminate the deceased's digital presence
Don't forget subscriptions, memberships and more...
Funny, helpful, special stories others have shared to help you through the process
For each section, download and personalize a ped checklist