Polk County Medical Examiner

Letting people know about your loved one's death

  • Family and friends
  • Neighbors
  • Work colleagues and employers
  • Sporting clubs – cancel any memberships at golf, tennis or bowl club, gym
  • Place of worship
  • Family doctor
  • Bank – close out accounts and safety deposit boxes
  • Credit card companies
  • Insurance Company – Notify the deceased's insurance companies of the death; cancel policies, if appropriate (or remove the name of the deceased from the policy, if appropriate); and request refunds of premiums. Such insurance may include automobile, personal property, medical, disability, homeowners, and others.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Local library
  • Mortgage and insurance companies
  • Utility companies – gas, electricity, telephone, water
  • Landlord – If the deceased was renting living accommodations for himself or herself only, contact the landlord and cancel the lease. Ask for any applicable refunds, such as the security deposit and rent paid in advance.
  • Passport office
  • Social Security Office – If the deceased was a participant in the Social Security System, contact your nearest Social Security office as soon as possible after the death and apply for any benefits that might be payable to eligible survivors. Also, you may wish to apply for the lump-sum death benefit.
  • Veteran’s Affairs Office – If the deceased was a veteran, the spouse of a veteran, or a dependent child of a veteran, check immediately after death with the nearest Veteran's Affairs office to determine (if you don't know already) whether the deceased is eligible for burial in a National Cemetery or has other VA benefits.
  • Cancel orders for unwanted goods and services ordered by the deceased.
  • Turn in season tickets that were held by the deceased (for sports events, symphonies, ballets, etc.) and request refunds.
  • Cancel unwanted magazine and newspaper subscriptions and book club memberships held by the deceased and request refunds.
  • Cancel hotel reservations, trip and tour reservations, and airline reservations for the deceased and request applicable refunds.
  • If the deceased was a college student, cancel enrollment and request refunds of prepayments for such things as tuition, room and board, laboratory fees, and activity fees.
  • Cancel medical and dental appointments for the deceased. Some members of the medical and dental profession charge patients even if they do not show up for their scheduled appointments. Even though you surely could have the charges canceled, canceling the appointments will prevent your having to further deal with the situation.
  • Check with your lawyer, tax accountant, IRS, and State Tax Office for instructions on filing final tax returns for the deceased.

Contact Us

To report a death call (515) 286-3333
1801 Hickman Rd
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
(515) 286-2102 (Days)
(515) 286-3333 (Other times)
Fax: (515) 286-2208