Grieving the loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to do. Some may get stuck in the grieving phase and takes days and months to recover. Your focus might be shaky and waking up in the morning might be a hard thing to do. You might find yourself constantly revisiting the tombstone of your loved one with funeral flowers. While we truly understand the difficulties and hardships that come with losing a loved one, life must still go on. Losing a loved one does not stop the world from spinning and there are many things to do that must be arranged after the funeral of your loved one. So, if you have a close relationship with the deceased and you are in charge of his or her personal matters, to make things easier for you, we have provided a to-do list for after the funeral of a loved one.
Procure a Death Certificate
- The first and vital step after the funeral is to get a copy wherein the death of your loved one is officially registered. A death certificate contains information declaring the cause of death, the location, time, and other personal information.
- This is important because any legal matters will rely on this such as wills, testaments, and division of the estate.
Settlement of Death Benefit
If you are close to your loved one, the last thing you would want is to take care of financial matters while grieving. However, it is always important to note that any assets and liabilities borne by the deceased would affect his heirs, parents, siblings, and any other members that are close to him. That is why you really have to take this part seriously.
- Contact the attorney of the deceased, his account, and an executor of Estate. This will save you some headache because these professionals will determine the assets and liabilities left by the deceased and properly distribute it according to the will of the deceased and the law. Keep in mind that all these properties left by the deceased might be the product of his hard work and it is in your best conscience to give it to whom he intended to.
- You must also contact the employers of your loved one. This is important because the deceased might have some payment in return for his years of service. In addition, the employer might have clauses in their contract providing that they shelter a portion of hospital and funeral expenses of the deceased.
Management of Existing Minor Liabilities
Like any other human, your loved ones also have bills to pay and errands to do. Sadly, they are not able to do that anymore. So, to save yourself and the family of the loved ones from having a buildup of bills, you must do the following.
- Notify utility departments of the death. This is important to avoid any running and charging of additional utilities that might be stocked up and accumulate into a larger amount. This is especially important if the deceased used to live alone since you would want to avoid having mails forwarded uselessly into the house of the deceased.
- If there are existing bills, pay them as soon as possible. You would certainly want to avoid your loved one from being declared as a delinquent. In addition, processing the exemption from the bills that were run after the death of the deceased would be a hassle. So, it is actually in your best interest to pay these bills as quickly as possible.
- Close credit card accounts. As mentioned, you need to procure a death certificate. Every bank that the deceased has would likely ask for a copy of the death certificate so make sure that you procure as many as is fit. In addition, canceling a credit card is important because you would want to avoid incurring charges from subscriptions that the deceased one has. Moreover, it is also a safety net to avoid any attempt of identity theft and credit card fraud.
If you are having difficulties in having to handle all these posthumous affairs and matters, we recommend that you find a trusted relative of the deceased to help you settle things. Especially with legal matters, things might get difficult and confusing. Settlement of estates and death benefits can turn pretty ugly so you must ensure that you hire the best lawyers in town and one that you can trust. Certainly, there are still other things that you must do in addition to the three major actions listed above. However, things like closing email accounts can be done sometime in the future. The things we have listed above are the most important step that you most certainly do as soon as possible after the funeral.
We do, however, understand, the hardship of having to face another day with an empty hollow feeling inside and still have to tend to this stuff. But it is important to note that what the deceased is leaving behind is his legacy and being in charge of it, you must take care of it and make sure that it will go to the people he or she intended. In addition, keeping busy with settlements and bill payments might help you lose focus on grieving and start healing. As they say, you can only heal if you do not revisit the wounds. We do hope that our list has helped you in some way in easing the pain and made your grieving process simpler.