Dealing with the death of a loved one can be difficult for everyone. The best way to handle your loved one’s affairs is to delegate responsibilities when possible and rely upon resources available to you. This review discusses the steps you can take to ensure your loved one’s affairs are handled properly after they pass.
Steps to Take After Your Loved One Passes
After your loved one has passed, you will need to make the service arrangements, notify your loved one’s friends and family members, ensure their pets are cared for (if applicable), obtain all of the relevant documents, and notify any government or financial offices that are paying or receiving payments from your loved one. The following is an in-depth review of each benefit, including resources provided to help you with each step.
Make The Service Arrangements
One of the first things you will need to do after your loved one passes is arrange their funeral. You may already know their wishes regarding their funeral plans, including whether they wanted to be buried or cremated. If you are unsure, then relevant documents they left behind may provide this information.
Once you decide the funeral plans, it is recommended to work with a funeral home. Remember, it is important to delegate responsibilities and rely upon your resources when handling your loved one’s affairs.
Send Notifications to Friends and Family
One of the harder steps to take is to notify friends and family members of your loved one’s passing and about the service arrangements. This is another task that you should delegate as much as you can.
For example, if your loved one was employed, you can notify their employer and have them inform their coworkers. Be sure to also notify any organizations that your loved one was a part of, in addition to all of their friends and family.
Ensure Their Pets Are Properly Cared For
Caring for pets can be one of the more complicated arrangements to make after a loved one passes. You can first try to find friends and family members who love pets and are willing to take their pets into their home.
If you are unable to find them a home right away, then boarding the pets may be an option. Consider this resource which offers places that can take a pet if something happens to your loved one.
Obtain All of The Necessary Documents
The next step is to obtain all of the necessary documents for your loved one. This includes but may not be limited to a copy of the death certificate, their will, a list of all of their assets, and documentation about their ongoing expenses.
A Copy of The Death Certificate
You may need death certificates to register the death with the government or close bank accounts. The funeral home should be able to obtain them on your behalf; you should aim to receive around ten to twelve copies to be safe. If you do not work with a funeral home, then you can request them from your state’s vital records office.
Your Loved One’s Will
Ideally, your loved one should leave a will behind. Your loved one’s lawyer may have a copy of the will if you do not have it. If they have not left a will, then their possessions are typically left to their spouse or blood relatives.
Your Loved One’s Ongoing Expenses
Settling your loved one’s estate can be complicated. To make the process easier, make a list of all of their ongoing expenses (such as car or mortgage payments). You can then notify service providers of your loved one’s death.
Notify Government Offices and Financial Institutions
You may also need to notify certain government offices and financial institutions, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), banks, finance professionals (i.e. accountant), and law offices.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration provides checks for social security benefits that your loved one may have qualified for. If they are receiving payments from the Social Security Administration, then you will need to notify them to stop the payments.
Banks, Credit Agencies, and Finance Professionals
It is best to close bank accounts and credit cards after your loved one dies to prevent attempts of fraud. Be sure to notify any banks or credit agencies after your loved one passes to cancel the accounts on your loved one’s behalf.
Contact Harbor Light Hospice for More Information
At Harbor Light Hospice, we help our patients and their families arrange their affairs and ensure everything goes well after they have passed. Losing a loved one can be difficult, and Harbor Light Hospice is here to help make the process easier. Contact us today by phone or message to learn more.