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While nothing can take away your pain following the death of a loved one, having your financial and legal affairs in order can provide some peace of mind during this difficult time. Military OneSource offers tools and services to simplify and ease the burden.

Understand the probate process

When a loved one dies, you may go through a court proceeding called probate, the legal process by which a person’s final debts are settled and legal title to property is passed from the deceased to heirs. Since the probate process can be a little overwhelming, it may help to remember these four steps:

  1. The probate hearing
  2. Collection and inventory of assets
  3. Review and payment of bills, taxes, expenses and to creditors
  4. Formal transfer of remaining estate property
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Make sure your affairs are in order

Use this Estate Information Packet Checklist to make sure your affairs are in order should the unthinkable happen.

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Understand benefits and resources for financial planning

While no actions can erase the pain you feel after losing a loved one, getting your financial and legal affairs in order can provide some peace of mind during this difficult time.

Claim your tax and Social Security benefits

A critical step in organizing your finances after a death is understanding your survivor tax and Social Security benefits. Several of the benefits paid out to families of deceased service members are tax-free. These include Social Security benefits, death gratuities, burial benefits and Department of Veterans Affairs pension and compensation payments.

In addition to the Social Security lump-sum death payment, there are other monthly benefits available to eligible surviving family members. Visit SSA Survivor Benefits for details. The following resources also provide information on those benefits.

Tools and resources for survivor finances and legal affairs

Products for survivor finances and legal affairs

Plan your finances

Mapping your financial future can be a puzzle when you’re trying to figure out benefits. Be sure to use the interactive Online Survivor Benefits Report to view current and estimated future benefits and to get help with creating saving and spending plans.

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The online survivor benefits report is an interactive financial planning tool available to eligible surviving spouses, guardians of dependent children, and adult children. This report helps you make sound decisions by estimating how time and circumstances can affect your monthly and annual income.

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Call the OSBR Family Assistance Support Team

If you need assistance accessing your report or have questions about your benefits, direct inquiries to the OSBR Family Assistance Support Team at 877-827-2471.

Identify your insurance and survivor benefit payments

As a survivor, you may be entitled to receive Survivor Benefit Plan payments. The amount you receive is based on the number of your service member’s active-duty service years at the time of their death. You may want to know about the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, for which service members may pay life insurance premiums from their monthly income.


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