Client Death



Statistically speaking 100% of clients die. It is important to have a process in place so that when a client passes, there is immediate action. Upon receiving news that someone has passed, Redtail has some general recommendations for developing your own client death procedures.


1. Create a ‘Deceased’ Status in the database.

Database Lists

Database Lists and the Contact Record Video

2. Change the client’s Status from ‘Active Client’ to ‘Deceased’.

Contact Details

Redtail Essentials: Contact Record Video


3. Fill out the ‘Date of Death’ field on the client’s contact record. This will ensure that the contact is removed from the birthday reminders and various reports within the database.

Contact Details

Redtail Essentials: Contact Record Video


4. Change the spouse to the new head of household (if applicable)

How Do I Change Family Heads

Redtail Essentials: Relationships

5. Adjust the ‘Family Name’ to reflect the new household arrangement (if applicable).

How Do I Change Family Heads

Redtail Essentials: Relationships

6. Add a membership option for ‘Deceased Husband/Wife/Spouse’.

Membership Options

Redtail Essentials: Relationships


7. Remove the deceased from the family, and add memberships between the deceased and living relatives. This will allow for the relationship to be tracked without infringing on the tax definition of family.

Family Relationships

Redtail Essentials: Family & Memberships Video


8. Remove the Client Review Date from the deceased client’s record. If the client’s spouse is an Active Client as well, add date to new head of household’s contact record. 

Client Review

Client Reviews Reminder Report

9. Add a Note to the deceased contact record of all changes. There are three options on how to handle these notes: 


Redtail Essentials: Notes Video

                            a. Copy to another contact record.

                               Working with Notes

                            b. Move to another contact record. 

                              Working with Notes

                            c. Add a note to the deceased contact record with a hyperlink. 

                              Working with Notes

10. Check open activities on the deceased contact record.

Contact Overview Activities

Activities by Contact Report


11. Create a Workflow that breaks down the deceased client planning process step-by-step. 


Workflow Video Series


12. Add an Automation that starts a workflow when a clients status is changed to "Deceased". 


Redtail Essentials: Automations Video



By updating the contact record with information about the client’s passing, you ensure that your communications will be sincere to their loss. 


Download a PDF version of these instructions below! 

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