What to do When A Death Occurs

What to do When A Death Occurs

What to do When A Death Occurs

When people die, they leave an existence that must be ended. Their funeral service arrangements must be made, their bank accounts must be closed, and their final bills must be paid. When someone you care about passes away, the task of handling personal and legal details may fall to you. It’s a stressful task that can take a year or more to complete while you’re still grieving. 

You can’t do it on your own. Taking care of the affairs of a deceased family member is not a one-person job. You will require the assistance of others, ranging from experts such as lawyers or Certified public accountants who can advise you on financial affairs to a number of friends and family to whom you can delegate tasks or seek emotional support.

To aid you with things to be done, below are things to do when a death occurs;

Immediately Someone Dies

Obtain a legal death certificate

If the person passed away in a hospital or nursing facility where a doctor was available, the workers will manage the situation. An official statement of death is the first process toward obtaining a death certificate, which is vital documentation. However, if the person died at home, especially if it was unexpected, you’ll need to have the person declared dead by a medical professional. Immediately call the emergency services as soon as the death occurs and have the body transported to the nearest hospital where the person can be pronounced dead and moved to a mortuary or funeral home. If the person died at home while receiving healthcare, the healthcare professional in charge can declare him/her dead. You can’t plan a funeral or handle the deceased’s legal affairs without a death certificate.

Inform family and friends

Put out a post on social media announcing the death of the deceased. You can also place a call through or send bulk SMS to close family and friends and implore them to spread the news about the death. Furthermore, you could go through the deceased’s contact list and send messages to their social groups, colleagues or co-workers

Find if there are any funeral plans

Oftentimes before death, the deceased must have talked about the kind of funeral they want. Find out if there is any. You could go through their diary or a notebook they write important things. If they have any kind of funeral wish, then you can go ahead with the funeral plan according to their wishes.

Within The First Week of Death

Make arrangements for burial or cremation

Contact a funeral service provider to help with the funeral arrangements. Decide on the venue for the funeral, the type of casket to use, burial or cremation, where the ashes will be kept in case of cremation, the kind of tombstone to design, etc. It is advisable to run a quick research on funeral prices so you can choose the budget that fits you the most.

If the deceased belonged to the military or a dedicated religious group or fraternity, be sure to reach out to them and confirm if there are any special burial processions or services they offer.

Also, get an obituary ready and conclude on the people that will act as the pallbearers and eulogizers.

Secure The Deceased Properties

If there are valuables like jewellery, money, and important documents, put them in a safe place. Lock the vehicles and the deceased room – except in situations where immediate family members may require access to them. Be sure to guard the deceased properties so none of it goes missing.

Check the deceased mails

This is to ensure you keep track of pending debt, subscriptions, and other important notifications. Cancel the subscriptions that are no longer needed and respond to high-priority emails announcing the death of the deceased.

Weeks After Death

Make copies of the death certificate

Having certified copies of the death certificate will enable you to close the deceased bank accounts and file insurance claims.

Find the will and the legal officer

The deceased’s legal officer will have a copy of the deceased’s will. It could be in written form, audio form, or audio-visual form. The officer will ensure the necessary properties gets to whom it is willed to and will also help with the necessary paperwork if any. The legal officer will also help will the necessary steps in clearing all the deceased’s pending debts, taxes, and liabilities before transferring the properties to the beneficiaries. 

Take care of yourself

This is very important. Losing a loved one is very difficult to accept. Don’t forget to seek help when needed and understand that what will be will be. 

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