Dealing with bereavement after a person close to you passes away, even if it was expected, can be devastating emotionally.
While processing your loved one’s will is very important, or worrying about how to go about the process if they died without a will, as both require your utmost caution- preferably with a legal professional. It’ll only become a factor worth considering once you take care of a few other things first.
This article outlines some of the steps you’ll need to cover from the moment your loved one passes away to the day the estate administration is completed.
Hours After The Loss
Soon after losing a loved one, naturally, you most likely won’t know what to do and say. If you feel shocked and overwhelmed, don’t worry too much, it’s only normal in your situation.
Pause for a little bit and breath before starting some of the steps listed below:
1. Get A Death Pronouncement
If the deceased passed away in a nursing home or a hospital with a doctor on board, the staff can take care of the majority of the immediate needs. A hospice nurse will declare your loved one dead if they passed on at home while under assisted elderly care.
One of the first things you should prioritise that’ll help you in obtaining a death certificate is to make an official declaration of death. If the deceased passed away at home, particularly if it was sudden, it’s best to have them pronounced dead by a doctor as soon as possible. Dial 911 the soonest to have them taken to an emergency department to be pronounced dead and transferred to a parlour.
2. Inform Your Friends And Family
Think of other close family members and friends who should know that their loved one has passed away. Look for any contacts to help you determine who should be notified. Inform colleagues and members of all social communities or churches that the person was a member of.
You can also request that the people let other people know by informing someone who is connected or otherwise related to the deceased. You could try posting the death on your or their social media accounts for a wider reach. Some might even volunteer to help buying funeral flowers to ease the burden you’re going through.
A Few Days Into Mourning
After a few days have passed you may now begin some of the processes that are best done at this stage. These include:
1. Make Preparations For The Funeral, Burial, Or Cremation
Examine the documents available to see if the deceased was subscribed to any burial package or whole life insurance. If they weren’t, you’ll have to choose a funeral service and deal with other responsibilities. These include deciding where the funeral wake will be held, where the body or ashes will be buried if you chose to go the cremation route, and what sort of urn or tombstone to order. It’s advisable to research how much the funeral might cost so that you can make an educated decision.
Try to get as much assistance as possible. Make arrangements for friends and relatives to serve a different range of tasks such as being pallbearers, helping arrange the funeral service to lending a hand in purchasing funeral flowers. Organize any meeting you’ll need to have with the deceased’s closest family and friends after the funeral.
In addition, you can request that an obituary be written by a family member or friend who is a great writer.
2. Protect Their Property
Take measures to protect your loved one’s house and car. Someone will have to be responsible for taking care of the deceased loved one’s small garden, collecting their mail, and disposing of all perishables in the house in general. Protect the deceased’s personal properties. Ask that a colleague or family member take care of most of the tasks. Keep any valuable items such as jewellery pieces and money in a safe for good measure.
3. Take Care Of Pets
Put pets with a trusted family member, preferably one who already has pets. If the deceased’s loved one’s pet is hypoallergenic, then they can be taken by anyone who’s willing. It’s best if their pets are properly taken care of until they can be moved somewhere permanently like another foster home or an animal shelter.
These are some of the things people can usually overlook in the rush of things. Yet this is very important because that pet was an intimate part of your loved one’s life. In their remembrance, take care of them well.
4. Make Sure Mail Is Forwarded
The last thing you want is for a heap of mails piling at your loved one’s door unattended. If you think they might receive mail, you can head to the local post office and have them redirected to your address instead.
While your loved one’s already gone, it’s courteous to not make it obvious that the house is uninhabited. You can express your love and grief by taking care of things they would have taken care of themselves back when they were still with the living.
Once the mail starts coming to your house, you can now easily identify any subscriptions and accounts you have to go and request to be closed due to the user’s passing.
5. Notify The Employer Of Your Family Member
Get in touch with the deceased’s employer and find out if there are any paychecks or other benefits that you can claim on behalf of them or their family. Also, inquire if there’s any life insurance policy that the deceased had been contributing towards at the company. It’s additional help for the grieving family members.
Two Weeks Moving Forward
A week or two after your loved one has died; it’ll now be a good time to plan ahead.
1. Ensure That Certified Copies Of Death Certificates Are Kept Safe
Get around ten copies of the death certificate and have them certified as they will be required in a lot of processes you will have to go through on behalf of the deceased. These actions may include closing bank accounts, brokerage accounts, register the death with relevant government agencies as well as filing for insurance.
The funeral parlour might also be able to get these copies for you or alternatively the vital statistics office in the state in which the death occurred.
2. Locate The Will And Executor
The location of any cash, property, or personal belongings must be known to relevant people who are also close to your loved one. You should have spoken to your loved ones before they passed away, and they should have told you where their will was held. If not, you’ll have to look for confidential records in all possible places.
People typically name the person who will be in charge of the will’s administration in the will. This person is called an executor. For the bulk of the steps mentioned below, the trustee must be there. If there’s no will, the probate court will appoint an administrator.
The time just after receiving news of the death of a loved one can be overwhelming. That’s why some people would rather react inappropriately. Also, so much needs to be processed at the same time and you’re just one person dealing with a lot on your plate. Get help from your relatives, colleagues, and friends as you start going through the steps listed in this article and several others that will still need to be done following your loved one’s death.