After a Loved One Passes Away


Difficult times are overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start. In the best situations, some preparations may have been made.

A valuable lesson for all of us, at any age: Taking the time to organize papers makes a difficult time immeasurably easier for those left behind.

Beneficiary Checklist

A list of everything you need in the event of a loved one's death. Download PDF»

Next Steps for Beneficiaries

Learning Center First StepFind out what paperwork you’ll need and how to get documents you may not have. Learn more Blue Arrow

Learning Center By Month 1You may not think you need an attorney, but a good probate lawyer can solve many problems and handle many headaches more easily than you can alone. Learn more Blue Arrow

Learning Center Months 1-2After a death, you may need to transfer ownership or change the title on property, or modify documents. Learn more Blue Arrow

Learning Center By Months 3-6Depending on how involved you'll be with settling the estate, you may want to find a tax accountant to work with you and your attorney. Learn more Blue Arrow

Learning Center By Month 9If you’re involved in settling an estate, there are usually only a few details left by this time. Learn more Blue Arrow

Proceeds Plus

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Life insurance beneficiaries' claims of $5,000 or more are handled through an interest-bearing Proceeds Plus account.

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If you’re a Proceeds Plus account holder and do not know your ID or password, please call 800 343-2551.

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Planning Tools & Calculators

Calculators and tools to review and plan for your financial goals.

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© 2014 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017