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A death has occured: What Next?

When a death occurs, our life is turned upside down…….

This checklist has been developed to help people take care of some essential matters to ensure an orderly funeral service and post-funeral arrangements following the death of a family member or anyone close to you.

Work Through The Things To Do Checklist

After a loved one’s death, it would help if you took down notes on the things you need to attend to. This way, you’re less likely to forget them amid all the grief you’re going through.

Here’s a checklist of the responsibilities that you need to accomplish after a death in your family:

Obtain An Official Pronouncement Of Death

Typically, the staff in the hospital or nursing home where your loved one died will take care of this document. If the death happened at home or elsewhere, you would need a medical practitioner to declare the death of your loved one officially. It may help if you get several copies of the death certificate because you’ll need them to accomplish other paperwork related to your loved one’s death.

Apart from detailing the day and hour of death, this certificate is crucial to get the ball rolling regarding the funeral service, wills and testaments, and other legal arrangements involving the deceased. Speaking of wills, not all persons are eligible to claim a deceased’s will. Being a family member doesn’t even automatically make one eligible. Wills can be a tricky legal matter to deal with, hence it’s best left to lawyers.

Write The Death Notice

But before anything else, you need to write and publish a death notice. Your extended family and the friends of the deceased would appreciate knowing about the passing of your loved one. A death notice will inform the public about a person’s death and provide details about the funeral.

eziFunerals can guide you in writing death notices to publish and other administrative tasks to do after a loved one’s passing.

Get A Hold Of Funeral Plans, If Any

Under ideal circumstances, you and your loved one should have a conversation about burial plans. Unfortunately, not everyone will have the opportunity to plan their funeral while they’re still around. Moreover, a funeral plan isn’t something people feel comfortable talking about.

If your loved one passed on without giving you burial instructions, your next step is to find out if there’s a funeral or burial insurance policy that’ll cover the expenses. Otherwise, you may need to call a meeting with other family members and discuss the nature of the funeral. At the very least, the bereaved party should plan how to cover the expenses.

Work With A Funeral Director

If there’s one thing you mustn’t forget, it’s the funeral service. You cannot do much when it comes to burial activities unless you’re in the deathcare business yourself. For this part, you need to work closely with a funeral service provider.

Remember to present the funeral insurance policy and see which expenses are covered. You may also be involved in choosing the casket or urn. If not stated in the will, you may decide which music and flowers to use in the procession. Working with a funeral service will take out many tasks on your list and allow you to join other surviving family members to mourn.

Secure The Deceased’s Property

After the death of a loved one, paperwork follows. Thus, someone must ensure that the deceased’s properties are cared for until the ownership titles have been distributed.

All valuables left by the dead must be entrusted to an appointed family member or executor, and await distribution to beneficiaries.

Determine The Appointed Executor

An executor oversees all the activities connected with the deceased’s estate and ensures the distribution of all the valuables following the last will. If you’re not the executor, it may help to determine if the deceased has appointed one. Otherwise, a probate court will appoint an administrator to wrap up all the things related to your loved one’s estate.

Take Time To Grieve

With all the things you need to do to ensure a smooth funeral and transfer properties or valuables to beneficiaries, you may forget to mourn for your loved one.

A death in the family isn’t a happy occasion. You need to face the fact that a loved one is gone. Emotions will run high, but that’s the reason why you have your family around you at a time like this. You mourn, support each other, and celebrate the life of the loved one you lost.


About eziFunerals

eziFunerals supports individuals and families coping with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company.

Our member Funeral Directors operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Australia wide. They are chosen for their knowledge, quality, service, personalisation and experience. They go above and beyond, and will take the time to support the family.

For more information or to make contact with a trusted Independent funeral director, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit www.ezifunerals.com.au.

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Peter Erceg is the Owner and Founder of eziFunerals. He has had a long history within the funeral industry, and is a published author of ‘What Kind Of Funeral: A self help guide to planning a meaningful funeral’. Prior to eziFunerals, Peter worked in the public sector and health industry for more than 30 years. The views and opinions expressed on posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of eziFunerals and members.

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