What You Need to Do When Someone Dies: A Checklist
Most of us have no idea how complicated losing a loved one can be. There are dozens of things that need to be done, requiring numerous hours of work. One of the things we are committed to helping you with is the writing of a wonderful eulogy. It's no small thing. Getting help will relieve SO much stress and give you the needed time to be with family and to adequately grieve yourself. Please take a look at our services and let's get started as soon as possible.
Losing someone dear to you can be an incredibly difficult thing to handle. If you are the person in charge for handling funeral service plans and personal matters, the event is easily almost overwhelming. Following is a checklist of things that ought to be looked after soon after somebody passes away. Please be aware that many of the things on this check list may only be managed by the executor of the person's estate, so if this isn't you, it's generally a smart idea to discuss these items with the person who is.
As Soon As Possible:
1. Get the death certificate. If your loved one died in a hospital, a doctor can look after this for you. But if your loved one passed at home or in another place, you'll have to know who to call. If she or he passed when in hospice, call your hospice health professional. If your loved one wasn’t with a hospital or even in hospice, call 911.
2. Arrange for organ donation, if applicable. Check your loved one’s driver’s certificate or advanced directive to see if they signed on to be an organ donor. In that case, let hospital employees know immediately (or call a close by healthcare facility if your loved one died at home). Organ donation is time-sensitive, so this is one area where it’s essential to act quickly.
3. Alert close friends and family. People vary. There’s no one correct way to do this. For some families, discussing the news in person or on the phone is crucial. For other people an e-mail or text message might be acceptable. If possible, delegate the task among several family members, especially if the family is large.
4. Determine what you’d need to do with your loved one’s body. First, find out if your loved one expressed any specific desires about ultimate disposition or made prepayments to a funeral home or cemetery. You may find documentation with other healthcare paperwork – at least that’s a good place to begin looking. If no wishes or instructions have been left, you have three basic choices:
Call a funeral home. A funeral home will help you organize either a burial or cremation. We advise looking for reviews and the prices for a couple funeral homes before making a decision, as both can differ significantly. A few minutes of research can often save lots of money and diminish undesirable and unexpected situations.
Phone a cremation company. When you can, organize a cremation through a funeral home. The director handles all the details. But if you aren’t using a funeral home, you can cut out the middle man by dealing directly with a cremation company. A direct cremation by way of a cremation service provider can be 1 / 3 of the cost of cremation by way of a funeral home.
Call a body donation organization. Your loved one might already be listed as a body donor, so check for paperwork. If they haven’t, you can still want to go this direction. Numerous university or college health-related organizations depend on entire body donations, and other for-income organizations, like “Science Care” and “BioGift,” will cover most costs and coordinate with other research organizations. Body donation is often a great choice for families who want their family member to assist others after death or who are searching for a much more cost-effective substitute for a traditional memorial.
5. Arrange care for any pets or dependents. If your loved was a care giver for other people or animals, quickly find someone who can care for them temporarily while you explore long-term options.
6. Protect Property. If your loved one lived by themselves, secure his or her residence and be sure any vehicles are locked up and/or garaged. If the house will stay vacant for a while, consider notifying the landlord and/or the authorities, to allow them to assist in keeping it secure.
7. Alert the person’s workplace. In the event the deceased was workking (or actively volunteering), phone to inform them that your ,loved one has passed. This is also a great time to ask about monies owed and insurance coverage.
What to do within the first couple of days
8. Decide on memorial programs. If you decided to go with a funeral home, meet up with the funeral director to find out your options. If you opted for an instant burial (burial with no service nor visitation), cremation or donation to scientific research, you might also decide to have a memorial service or dinner at a later time. Many people prefer this so that you can give themselves needed time to plan a better event.
9. Buy a casket or urn. You may choose to buy a casket or urn directly from the funeral home, and many folks prefer this as the easiest option. Nevertheless, you can often find caskets on the internet for less money -- significantly less. Some websites even provide free shipping and delivery. If you want to ensure you’re getting a good price, it is probably worth looking online before you make an order. By law, all funeral homes are required to allow you to use caskets or urns purchased elsewhere.
10. Ask the post office to forward mail. If your loved one lived alone, this will prevent mail from piling up and showing the home is not inhabited. Getting the mail will also help you determine bills that should be paid and balances of accounts. You’ll need to document your request and prove that you are the executor and certified to manage her or his mail.
11. Do a detailed inspection of the house. Get rid of any food which will expire, water plants, check out anything else which could need ongoing attention.
12. Create a memorial website. A memorial website is a wonderful way of memorializing a loved one and, at the same time, disseminate information about funeral arrangements and how to make memorial gifts.
13. Construct an obituary. Write an obituary for your loved one and acquire feedback from friends and family. If you’re uncertain where to begin, try using an obituary template – there are several good ones available online. As soon as it’s finished, send it to your local newspaper. There will probably be a charge. You can also publish an obituary online at no cost.
14. Determine whether you will need financial assistance. The typical funeral service costs about $9,000. That is a tremendous burden on many families. While there are lots of ways to save when putting together a funeral or memorial, you might want to take into account financial assistance. Crowd funding campaigns for funerals are increasingly popular, and you could setup a free of charge funeral fundraiser on the memorial web site on EverLoved.com
15. Check into veteran’s benefits. If your loved one had been a veteran, you could possibly get financial assistance with all the funeral or burial expenses. Discover more details on the Veterans Administration website.
16. Select funeral service participants. If you wish family participants to offer eulogies, do programs, sing, be pallbearers or get involved in another way, go over this with them. Most people are honored to be asked. Giving a eulogy is VERY stressful. If the person being asked is informed or our services, TheEulogyWriters.com they may be very grateful.
17. Establish a funeral timetable. Figure out the time as well as locations for each element – the service, the reception, the cemetery… Make a list of everything that may happen and when.
18. Buy printed supplies and memorial flowers. You may want printed programs (although these are optional), prayer cards, flowers or other items in the services. Procure them a few days beforehand. You can often purchase them directly from the funeral home, which helps relieve some of the pressure, but you’ll often be able to find most items less expensively by shopping around or online.
19. Coordinate food and beverages, if desired. It’s not uncommon to have food available at a memorial reception or even at the pre-service visitation. You may choose to provide meals yourself, use a caterer, have a potluck, or use a local restaurant. Any of these choices are completely appropriate and simply depend upon your individual preference.
20. Let people know. A web-based funeral announcement is usually the simplest way to share service specifics with relatives and friends. For older friends and relatives who might not use the internet frequently, it is possible to send out a funeral announcement or to give them a call and make sure they know.
What to do within the first couple of weeks
21. Buy a headstone. Because headstones are rarely ready in time for a burial, you save this task until right after the memorial when you have some more time. You'll generally be able to purchase a headstone from the cemetery, but you'll have more options (and often affordable prices) if you go online.
22. Purchase several duplicates of the death certificate. You’ll probably need anywhere from 5 and 10 copies (but possibly more), based on the complexity and activity of your loved one’s life. Your funeral director will be able to assist you in getting them, or you can purchase them from the town hall or county courthouse.
23. Begin the probate process. In the event the estate is relatively small, doesn’t consist of unusual assets and isn’t likely to be disputed by family members, you may be able to handle it by yourself. Nonetheless, it’s worth considering whether you should employ a probate lawyer to help.
24. Make contact with the Social Security office. Your funeral service director may have already done this, so determine if this is actually needed. If you wish to get in touch with Social Security yourself, you can reach them by telephone at 1-800-772-1213. Through Social Security you may be able to apply for survivor benefits. Visit the Social Security site for more information.
25. Notify any financial institutions or home loan organizations involved. If you’re unsure of what balances your loved one kept, use their mail and their online accounts to determine balances. Then, send copies of the death certification to each and every financial institution and change ownership in the accounts. You may need a court order to open a safety deposit box if one exists.
26. Contact brokers and financial advisors to transfer ownership. You’ll likely need a death certificate for each account and probably a Power of Attorney document.
27. Talk to a taxes accountant. You must file a return for both the person and also the estate.
28. Alert life insurance company. Complete the claim form for any life insurance the deceased had.
29. Cancel insurance plans. This might include health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance or anything else. Based on the policy, reach out to either the insurance company or maybe your loved one’s employer to avoid unnecessary coverage. In the event the deceased was on Medicare, the Social Security workplace will inform them of the death, but if your loved one had Medicare insurance Prescription Medicine Protection (Part D), a Medicare insurance Advantage program or a Medigap coverage, you have to contact each yourself to stop them.
30. Figure out any job benefits. If the loved one was working at the time of their death, make contact with his or her employer to find out about union death benefits, pension programs and credit unions.
31. Recognize and pay monthly bills. Create a list of bills that are likely to be due (e.g. home loan, automobile payments, electrical power), and do your best to track them down via the person’s email and internet profiles. Create a plan to make certain these monthly bills continue to be paid promptly.
32. Close credit card accounts. Make use of your loved one’s email, budget and then any online accounts you have access to so that you can identify open credit card accounts. For each one, you’ll likely need to phone customer support then email or mail a copy from the loss of the death certificate.
33. Notify credit reporting organizations. Offer duplicates from the death certificate to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian in order to reduce the likelihood of identity theft. It’s also a good idea to look at your loved one’s credit history in another 30 days to verify that no new accounts have been opened.
34. Stop the person’s driver’s license. This may help to avoid identity theft. Search online or phone your state’s DMV for guidelines.
35. Memorialize your loved one's Facebook account. If your loved one was on Facebook, you are able to memorialize their accounts. This can allow friends to continue to publish and reminisce.
36. Close email profiles. Once you feel confident that you have all the necessary information on other accounts, it's a good idea to permanently shut down your loved one's email account – again, another step to avoid scams and identity theft. Every email provider has their particular process, so do a quick online lookup to find out the steps you should take.
Tags: death of a loved one, what to do when someone dies, when someone dies, when someone passes, when someone passes away, steps to take at death, writing a eulogy
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