Statistically speaking 100% of clients pass away. 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.
2. Change the client’s Status from ‘Active Client’ to ‘Deceased’.
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.
The date of Death also adds a red banner at the top of the contact that indicates they are deceased:
4. Change the spouse to the new head of household (if applicable)
5. Adjust the ‘Family Name’ to reflect the new household arrangement (if applicable).
6. 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.
7. Add a Note to the deceased contact record of all changes. There are three options on how to handle these notes:
a. Copy to another contact record.
b. Move to another contact record.
c. Add a note to the deceased contact record with a hyperlink.
* The method you choose is entirely up to you and your fellow database users. Copying the notes is the Redtail Trainer recommended method as it keeps the notes available on both contact records. If you prefer to keep everything on one centralized contact record, consider the move notes method. Lastly, if you find yourself needing to copy or move a high volume on notes, the hyperlink method saves lots of clicks and allows you to view those notes on an as-needed basis only.
8. Check open activities on the deceased contact record.
9. Add a membership option for ‘Deceased Husband/Wife/Spouse’.
10. 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.
11. Create a Workflow that breaks down the deceased client planning process step-by-step.
12. Add an Automation that starts a workflow when a clients status is changed to "Deceased".
By updating the contact record with information about the client’s passing, you ensure that your communications will be sincere to their loss.