What To Do When A Loved One Dies

Posted on: 22 December 2015

When someone you love passes there are many difficulties you must face. Dealing with grief and loss may overwhelm you to the point where you have trouble knowing what to do and how to organize everything. Here is a checklist of what to do when a loved one dies:

1. Check for life insurance

One of the first tasks to do immediately after the death is notify the deceased's employer. Your loved one may have had life insurance or other benefits through their employer. You should also notify your loved one's attorney. The attorney will have access to their will and information about life insurance. You should also go through your family member's paperwork to find a will or life insurance. The sooner the life insurance company is notified of the death, the sooner they will pay benefits.

2. Make funeral preparations

Your loved one may have had their funeral prearranged. If so, all you need to do is notify the funeral home. If not, you will need to make arrangements for funeral home services. Recruit some family members and friends to help you organize this event. Planning a funeral can quickly become frustrating and overwhelming especially when you're already grieving. Here are a few general tips:

  • Get quotes from several different funeral homes. Ask what is included in funeral packages.
  • Consider cremation and casket rental to help bring down costs.
  • Personalize the service and spend money on details that mattered to your loved one while they were alive.

3. Organize the deceased's finances and estate.

Go through the home of your loved one and make a list of all their belongings. Take pictures of the belongings. If you find valuables, have them appraised and stored in a secure location until the will is read or after going through probate. Look for financial documents detailing bank accounts, deeds, retirement accounts, and bonds. Notify the IRS of your loved one's passing as well as the company who provided their pension. Inquire about benefits for the spouse or children of the deceased.

4. Cancel accounts and subscriptions.

If your loved one had credit cards, a car loan, or any other type of debt, notify the companies so they may close or freeze the account. Take a close look at the deceased's bank and credit card statements to look for any renewing or automatic payments. Cancel any subscriptions as well as automatic payments for cable, phone, or any other service that is no longer needed. You may also need to close online accounts such as email or social media profiles. An identity thief can gain access to finances through these means.

While you're mourning your family member, it's easier to go through the steps of getting their affairs in order when you know what to do. These tasks will get the process started and help you navigate this complicated time. For more information, contact companies like Farone & Son Inc. 

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