Database recommendations for deceased contacts

When one of your clients passes away, there are a number of steps we recommend you take within your database in order that you don't erroneously send out correspondence to or otherwise attempt to contact the deceased.

First, we recommend creating a Client Status or Client Category of Deceased and applying this to the record. This information displays on the client's Overview page so will serve as a quick visual cue.  To learn more about creating and applying new Client Statuses or Categories, please see this post.

The other items you'll want to take care of, particularly if you use Redtail for mail merges, are:

1.  Change the surviving spouse (if any) to Family Head, if they are not already.  You can see this post for information on how to change Family Heads.  You'll also want to remove the Family Name field from the deceased's Basic Information section and add an edited Family Name, that doesn't reference the deceased, to the new Family Head's record when making these edits.

2.  To keep a record of the spousal relationship between the deceased and their surviving spouse, remove the deceased from the Family section and edit the Individual Memberships section for the surviving spouse to set this relationship up.  You can see this post for information on working with Memberships.

3.  Enter a Date of Death for the deceased client in their Contact Details. Note: the Date of Death field isn't on display within the Contact Details area unless you click edit for that section and enter a Date of Death. Entering a Date of Death for a client automatically disables their birthday reminder, if it was previously enabled, and hides the Birthday Banner that otherwise would display at the top of their Contact Record on their date of birth. Entering a Date of Death also disables their Client Review Reminder, and stops the Age field for the client from progressing further.

More details are available here. Best Practice Tip: turn these steps into a Workflow to use going forward to handle these situations.

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