Grief following the death of a loved one can derail your focus. However, there is no escaping the fact that you need to attend to several tasks that must be done when a loved one passes.
It may help to divide and share some of the responsibilities with other family members whenever possible. If finances permit, seek the assistance of an outside party experienced in handling such matters.
Below is a checklist of what you need to do immediately after the death of a loved one. We also look at what should be done after a few days and in the weeks that follow.
Immediately After Death
- Get a legal pronouncement of the death. (In case your loved one passed in a nursing home or hospital, the staff will handle this aspect).
- If the death was at home, you must notify the local sheriff/police or calling emergency services (911).
- Contact your close family members and let them know.
- Check if your loved one had any organ donation wishes and immediately let the hospital staff or first know. If the loved one died at home, call a nearby hospital.
- If your family member was employed, notify the employer. Inquire about benefits, insurance, and any paychecks that could be due.
Within a Few Days after Death
- Decide on the type of funeral service your family member would have wanted or requested. Search their through documents in case there was a prepaid funeral/burial plan.
- Choose a suitable funeral home and sit down with them to discuss cremation/funeral arrangements and other related services.
- If the loved one was in the military or was a religious or fraternal group member, get in touch with that organization.
- Draft an obituary and get feedback from family and close friends.
- Create a funeral program.
- Ask a relative or friend to keep an eye on the deceased’s home, provide for pets, water the plants, answer the phone, throw out food, and collect mail.
- Request the post office to forward all mail.
After about 2 Weeks
- You will need copies of death certificates (about 10) to close different accounts, file insurance claims, among other things.
- Consult with the family accountant or attorney who can assist you settle the deceased’s estate and any other final instructions that need to be accommodated.
- Work with creditors in case there are outstanding balances to be paid off.
- If the apartment/house needs to be vacated, make sure that utilities are shut off.
- Notify Social Security, life insurance companies, banks, and financial institutions.
- Memorialize or delete social media accounts, close email accounts.
- If your loved one was buried, order a headstone.
- Find the disease’s Will and locate the executor.
- Take the deceased’s Will to probate.
- Meet with a trustees and estates attorney.
Managing a deceased loved one’s affairs is not an easy task, and it should not be done by one person. Seek the help and support of family members, relatives, friends, and others, such as probate lawyers.
And of course, the team at Red Responders is also here to handle all of your cleanup needs.