What to Do When a Loved One Dies

What to do when a loved one diesRecently lost a loved one? Please know that you’re not alone. We’re here to help you through this difficult time and guide you on the next steps to take.

We also encourage you to reach out and ask for help from family and friends in making arrangements for what comes next. This network of support is often more than happy to prepare food, look after children, help with arrangements, or simply offer emotional support and open arms.

We’ve shared some steps on what to do when a loved one dies from our partner, Lassila Funeral Chapel. If you have any questions about the next steps, available options, or legal ramifications, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What do to within hours of a loved one’s death

When your loved one dies at home or in the workplace, the first people to contact are either emergency personnel or your loved one’s physician, if they were under medical care. If you were alone when the death occurred, you’ll also need to notify the police before the deceased is moved to a secondary location.

When your loved one dies in a hospital, care facility or hospice program, the professional staff should notify you and contact the appropriate authorities, including the funeral home that your loved one will be moved to.

Next steps include registration of the death and processes and documentation that depend on your circumstances. The professionals you’ve contacted will help guide you through obtaining a medical certificate and other necessary registration procedures.

If you’re ever unsure about who to contact or what your next steps should be, please contact us for assistance in determining the right course of action for your individual situation.

What to do within the first few days after a loved one’s death

After you’ve taken care of the initial arrangements it’s time to notify family and friends about the death. If this is too painful for you to do, then reach out to family or friends to help you make these difficult phone calls.

Now’s the time to review the prearranged wishes or plans that your loved one put in place. You’ll need to meet with professionals from your chosen funeral home to discuss options and begin designing a funeral.

Did your loved one want to be buried or cremated? If they didn’t specify beforehand then it’s up to their next of kin to decide.

Was your loved one involved with religions traditions or customs? If so, you’ll need to plan for those and engage the services of a clergy member or spiritual leader.

You may choose to write a death notice or obituary to notify those in the community about your loved one’s passing.

Some legal steps to take when a loved one dies include handling assets, liabilities and trust administration. It’s vital that you seek professional legal guidance and protection. We’re here to support you with that. Contact us for help from one of our attorneys with Will and Trust administration.

What to expect when meeting with a funeral home

When you meet with the funeral home to discuss your arrangements you’ll get a basic idea of costs. They will walk you through the process and gain an understanding of your loved one so that the funeral honors them.

This process may include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
  • Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
  • Drafting an obituary
  • Arranging necessary transportation
  • Selecting pallbearers

Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one’s life story, revisit memories and highlight their accomplishments. This information will help guide the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one’s unique journey.

Don’t be afraid to incorporate memorabilia such as photos, videos, music, crafts or treasured items that pay tribute to your loved one’s life.

To make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible with the funeral home it’s good to be prepared with the following information about your loved one:

  • Full legal name and home address
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Veteran’s discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
  • Highest education
  • Occupation
  • Chosen place of burial, if applicable
  • Clergy name and phone number, if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors
  • Insurance policy information, if applicable
  • A recent photograph
  • Any clothing you’d like to use when dressing your loved one for the service, if applicable

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have about what you need to do. We’re well-versed in all topics relating to the loss of a loved one, and we’d be honored to provide you with answers, advice, and guidance in your time of need. Contact us here for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.