Macatawa and Wintrust Announcement
Widow Checklist 

Widow Checklist

Helpful considerations for the recent loss of a spouse.


Employer notification

  • Update marital status on tax forms
  • Update beneficiaries on retirement plans
  • Update personal information records

Health insurance

  • Review applicable health coverage or if uninsured, apply for individual health coverage; Medicare, military health care, or employer health care.

Legal considerations

  • Obtain several copies of death certificate
  • Notify the deceased creditors
  • Review Trust documents or Wills
  • Trust: Follow the instructions in the Trust document
  • Wills: File the Will with the appropriate Probate Court
  • If no Will or Trust, contact the Probate Court for instructions or contact a Probate Attorney for guidance. 


  • Submit claims on spouse's policy
  • Individual Life Insurance policies
  • Travel Insurance policies
  • Group Life Insurance policies
  • Mortgage life insurance policies
  • Employer-based Life Insurance policies
  • Credit Life Insurance policies
  • Accidental death policies
  • Make beneficiary changes if necessary
  • Review life insurance policies for adequate coverage

Social Security / Veterans benefits

  • Report death to Social Security Administration
  • Review eligibility for survivor and/or children benefits
  • Determine the updated benefit if you are currently collecting Social Security 
  • Apply for the $255 death benefit
  • Contact the VA if you are entitled to any benefits as a Veteran

Financial considerations

  • Create a monthly budget reflecting change in income
  • Review current debt for rate, term or consolidation options
  • Evaluate housing situation
  • Retitle account ownership on Bank accounts
  • Retitle account ownership on Investment accounts
  • Review asset allocation of Investment accounts
  • Review beneficiaries on Bank accounts, Insurance polices, and Investment accounts
  • Retitle all other jointly held assets
  • Consider Social Security
  • If spouse was receiving benefits via direct deposit, funds will be retracted by SSA for the month of the death
  • If spouse was receiving benefits via check, do not cash.  Contact Social Security on where to return check. 
  • Consider Identity Theft Protection on accounts


  • See advice from an Accountant for new tax status and requirements when filing Estate taxes

We're here to help!

If you have questions, give us a call at (877) 820-2265, schedule an appointment, or stop by one of our branch locations.

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This information is prepared and made available as a courtesy. Macatawa Bank does not provide legal advice; the information herein does not substitute legal or financial advice directed to your situation. We do not warrant the accuracy. It is recommended you consult with the appropriate professional for guidance and assistance.

Products offered by Macatawa Bank Wealth Management are: Not insured by the FDIC. Not a bank deposit, bank obligation, or guaranteed by the bank. Subject to investment risk, including potential principal loss.


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