If you have recently lost someone close to you, you probably feel understandably overwhelmed. At a time when you are consumed by grief and feel like shutting off the world, there has never been for more you to do.
If you are struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one and need help with the practicalities of dealing with a death, then the below blog is exactly what you need.
Read on to discover what you need to do in the days, weeks, and months following the death of a loved one. Plus, where you can go for support and advice at this difficult time.
1. Get a legal pronouncement of death
The first step that you need to take following the death of a loved one is to have their death legally declared. Depending on the state that they lived in and where they died, this may be by a doctor, registered nurse, or paramedic.
If no autopsy is required, then you can then arrange for the body to be picked up by your chosen funeral home or crematorium.
2. Tell family and friends
Letting family and friends know that their loved one has died can be a heart-wrenching task, but it does need to be done. While you will want to call immediate family individually, it can be helpful to ask others to spread the word or to write a post on social media for other people that they knew, such as co-workers or neighbors.
3. Look into their funeral wishes
If you have had the chance to talk to your loved one about their funeral wishes before they passed, then you will already know what they wanted. However, if their death was sudden or unexpected, you may not have had the chance to do this.
If this is the case, then it can be a good idea to arrange a meeting with close family members to discuss what you think they may have wanted, what the family wants, and what you can realistically afford.
4. Make the funeral arrangements
There is a lot to do when it comes to arranging a funeral, including choosing a funeral home, deciding where the service will be, ordering a tombstone or a metal urn, and organizing the wake.
If you feel overwhelmed, let other family members and friends share the burden. Ask someone else to write the eulogy or to plan the order of service.
5. Sort out their affairs
Once you have been able to formally say your goodbyes to your loved one, now you need to start sorting out their affairs. Some of the most crucial administrative tasks that you need to carry out include:
- Obtain copies of the death certificate
- Find the will and executor
- Hire a lawyer to help deal with their estate
- Carry out probate
- Cancel any services or subscriptions
- Cancel their passport and/or driving license
- Notify banks and any other financial institutions
- Terminate any insurance policies
- Close email accounts
- Remove the deceased from the voting rolls