When a Loved One Dies


Below you will find links to resources that provide information about what to do when a loved one dies. You'll find information like a widow's checklist and how to pay the debts of a loved one. You can also find  forms for notifying the proper agencies. Additionally, you can find information on how to seek aid from a lawyer, if needed. Some areas of the state have more information than others. You may wish to look at information from other areas in addition to your own.



National Resources


Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative: Who Is Responsible?

If your relative has died, you may receive calls from a debt collector regarding unpaid debts. This resource from the Federal Trade Commission provides helpful information about who is responsible for those debts and what to do.


Social Security Survivors Benefits 

This resource from the Social Security Administration provides information about Survivors Benefits.


Help with Pension Problems

If you have issues with your pension, the Mid-America Pension Rights Project may be able to help. Follow the link above to find more information about their services.


Information for Veterans and Family

A VA Survivors Pension offers monthly payments to qualified surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children of wartime Veterans who meet certain income and net worth limits set by Congress. Click on the link above to find out if you qualify and how to apply.




Statewide Resources

Ordering Death Certificates

You can order a death certificate in person, by mail, or online. Find out how to do so from the Tennessee Department of Health.


How to Title and Register a Vehicle as Surviving Spouse

This site provides information as to how you change the title and registration of a car to the surviving spouse's Name


Legal Advice:

TN Free Legal Answers

If you are in Tennessee, the website, Free Legal Answers,  allows you to ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue at no cost.  It is fast and easy, and all you need is a computer. This is a FREE service for people who cannot afford a lawyer. 

How it works: 

  • You will answer a few questions to see if you qualify for their service. If you qualify, you will have the option to create an account.
  • If you are eligible, you can ask their volunteer attorneys a non-criminal legal question.
  • Once your question receives a response, you will get an email. You will need to sign into the website to read your response and ask any additional questions.

Visit https://tn.freelegalanswers.org/ to sign up.

Last updated on .

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