Grasping the Reality of a Death

It is an emotional rollercoaster when someone you love passes away. You barely have time to register what just happened when you are forced to deal with a long list of things you need to do. If your loved one planned ahead, many of the decisions should already be made for you. However, if you find yourself at a loss, you may wish to follow a premade checklist.

  • Notify Family and Friends

    One of the first things you'll need to do is notify any friends and family members of your loved one's death. You also need to notify the coroner if the person was an organ donor. Remember to also notify your loved one's doctor. You may also need to fill out a Form 36 regarding any Social Security benefits your loved one may have been receiving.

  • Make Funeral Arrangements

    The next important step is to set up the funeral in an organized order. If there is a will, it may specify the details of the funeral, including the funeral home to use, the type of grave marker , and funds to pay for it. If not, you or the executor of the estate may need to make these decisions. Keep in mind that the cost of a funeral differs by type.

  • Settle the Estate

    If you are the executor of your loved one's estate, you'll need to take care of the duties that entails, which can include notifying and paying debtors and executing a will. You will need to be very organized and keep detailed records of expenses from the estate to bring an account before the court. It can take a long time to settle an estate.

Seek Help for Coordinating Funeral Arrangements

Figuring out what you need to do after a loved one passes away can be emotionally difficult. If you find you are having difficulty making these decisions and completing certain details, then don't be afraid to ask for help. Funeral homes can often help to craft an appropriate memorial and graveside service for your loved one if you are struggling to make those decisions yourself.