Death of Immediate Family Member

Certain qualifying events allow you to make changes in benefits that otherwise are not possible until the annual Open Enrollment period (November 1-30 with change effective January1). This summary outlines the benefit plan changes you may need to make as a result of the death of an immediate family member.

Please be sure to make your changes by completing and submitting the appropriate forms to Human Resources within 30 days of the date of death. If you do not notify Human Resources within 30 days of the event, you will need to wait until the next Open Enrollment period to make your changes.

All forms should be submitted to Human Resources via email (, fax (254-710-3819), mail (One Bear Place #97053) or office delivery (Robinson Tower, Suite 200).

Forms and Documentation

Medical/Prescription Drug and Dental

Benefit Enrollment Application/Change Form

  • Complete this form to cancel spouse/dependent from your medical and/or dental plan or to enroll you/other family members in the medical and/or dental plan due to loss of other medical plan.
  • The effective date is the date of death.
  • Group Term Life Insurance section would not be completed.
  • Schedule of Insurance Premiums

Spouse's Death: If you were covered under the health insurance plan of your deceased spouse, you may need to enroll in the University medical plan. If you are already enrolled in the University medical plan, you may need to change your coverage from family or employee/spouse to employee/ children or individual. You may also need to add your child(ren) to your benefit plan, if they were previously covered under your spouse's plan.
Child's Death: If your deceased child was covered under your University medical plan, you will need to remove him/her from the plan.

Life Insurance

This is a good time to reevaluate your life insurance coverage to ensure that you have proper coverage to accommodate the change in your family. You may also need to change your Supplemental Term Life coverage and update or change your life insurance beneficiary(ies). This change may require that you complete an application form and evidence of insurability form. Forms are available in the Human Resources office.
Spouse's Death: If you purchased Supplemental Term Life insurance for your spouse, you will want to cancel this coverage.

Retirement Income Plan

This is a good time to review your retirement income plan, investment elections, and contribution amounts to accommodate your new situation. You may begin, stop, increase, or decrease your contributions as well as update or change your beneficiary(ies).

  • Complete the Change in Beneficiary form to change your beneficiary with GuideStone of the SBC.
  • Complete the Vanguard application/change form to change your beneficiary with Vanguard.
  • To change your beneficiary with TIAA-CREF, contact TIAA-CREF's National Counseling Center at 800.842.2776. All forms that you receive from the counseling center would be completed and forwarded to Human Resources.
  • Provide two Original Certificates of Death for processing of the change of beneficiary for your retirement income plan and for the dependent term life insurance.

Tax Form

  • W-4: You may wish to update marital status or number of dependents.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Given your current situation, you may want to reconsider your participation in the Flexible Spending Accounts by either signing up now or changing the amount of your contributions.

Questions? Contact Human Resources at (254) 710-2000.