Losing a loved one can be hard, and if you are in charge of funeral arrangements and personal affairs, the experience can be overwhelming. If this describes you, here is a checklist of things you should do after someone you care about dies. Remember that some of these things can only be handled by the executor of a person’s assets, so if you do not have this responsibility, there are some things that you may not be able to do. However, it is a good idea to work closely with them to make sure the wishes of the deceased are adhered to.
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Get a death certification or legal confirmation of the passing
This is something that should be addressed as soon as possible after your loved one has died. If your loved one died in a hospital, the situation is usually handled by a doctor. However, if your loved one died at home or elsewhere, you will need to know who to contact and inform. Call the nurse if he or she died while receiving hospice care.
Sort out the donation of organs
Upon losing a loved one, look at their driver’s license to determine whether or not they intended to be an organ donor. If they were, notify hospital personnel right away, or call a nearby hospital if your loved one died at home. As organ donation has to be done as soon as possible after death, it is important that you act quickly on this.
Inform friends, family, and acquaintances
This is never an easy process to inform others after losing a loved one. Every family is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to do things. Some families want to communicate their sad news in person or over the phone. Others may be fine with an email or text message. If possible, divide the task among several family members to relieve some of your stress.
Organize where you want their body to go and arrange the transport
Before you do anything else, see if your loved one has expressed any wishes about what they want to happen to their body after death, or if they have made any prepayments or plans with any specific funeral homes or cemeteries. If they haven’t expressed any preferences or made any plans, you have three choices:
Call a funeral home
Do some research and phone around a few different funeral homes. While saving money might not be your top priority at the moment, it can be the difference between the send-off that you want for your loved one or being disappointed with the ceremony.
While cremation can be arranged through a funeral home, some firms offer simple cremation services if you do not want all the fuss of the funeral. It can be a lot cheaper, but obviously does not have the ceremonial aspects that many people want.
Check their paperwork to see if your loved one has already applied to be a body donor. If they haven’t, many programmes, such as university medical programmes, to this day accept donations for research.
Of course, this only begins to cover the difficult tasks that you have ahead after losing a loved one. There are many other things that you will need to do over the coming days and weeks. Make sure that you take the time to look after yourself and allow yourself to grieve, and also divide up tasks if necessary. Don’t forget to reach out if you need that extra help during a very difficult time.