Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things a person will go through in life. It is important to lean on family and friends for support during this trying time. We are often left overwhelmed with not only emotion, but an endless list of questions on what to do next. Serving families here at East Lawn, we get asked questions every day regarding what to do after a loved one dies. So we decided to compile a list of important matters to address.
- Take action immediately following death
- Legal pronouncement that death has occurred, by a medical professional such as a doctor or hospice nurse.
- Arrange for the body to be transported to a funeral home such as East Lawn.
- Contact family and friends to notify them that the loss has occurred, the rule of thumb is sooner, rather than later.
- Arrange for the care of dependents and or pets.
- Speak to the funeral home to make final arrangements; funeral service, burial or cremation.
- Take care of their home by collecting mail, taking the trash out, and checking on the property.
- Obtain copies of death certificates from funeral home and send to all appropriate financial institutions as well as any pension accounts and insurance policies.
- Take the will to the county or city office to have it accepted for probate.
- Contact a trust attorney to learn how to transfer assets and assist with any possible probate issues.
- Contact an accountant or tax preparer to see if estate tax or final income tax needs to be filed.
- Close all bank accounts and credit cards to avoid identity theft as well as the DMV.
- Submit official death certificate to the Social Security Administration (800-772-1213; ssa.gov).
- Stop service to utility companies and postal service, identify and cancel other companies with reoccurring bills and subscriptions.
- Notify homeowner and auto insurance companies and receive new rates quotes based on none occupancy and nonoperation vehicle.
- Reach out to social media accounts such as Facebook to cancel profiles.
This list may seem like a lot but keep in mind some items can be dispersed amongst several family members or friends. Also, keep in mind this list is meant to be a guide, not an exact step by step as everyone has different circumstances that are particular to their situations. We hope that this provides some direction to you during such a sensitive time. It is an absolute honor to serve the families in our community during their time of need and we would like to take a moment to thank you for the opportunity to do so.