Dealing with the death of a loved one is extremely difficult. Coping with the grief can be overwhelming on its own, especially if you have to put it aside to take care of all the funeral arrangements.
Below are four immediate steps you need to take when someone passes away prior to moving on to the funeral planning guide:
1. Make the first phone calls.
The circumstances of death will most often determine what you should do immediately after. If your loved one has passed away in a hospital, the staff will usually take care of the funeral arrangements, such as contacting a funeral home or, if necessary, complete an autopsy. You can get in touch with the friends and family of the deceased and ask them to make a couple phone calls themselves so you won’t be burdened with spreading the news.
2. What to do if the person passes away without any hospice care?
If the person has passed away at home, call 995 for the fire and ambulance hotline or 999 for the police to arrange for transportation of the body. If there is no need for an autopsy, the body can then be picked up by a mortuary or a crematorium.
3. Inform the person’s doctor and employer.
Get in touch with the person’s doctor, as well as the person’s employer, if they were still working. You can request information about any benefits and pay due, and ask about life-insurance policies in their company. Make sure you handle care of all dependents and pets.
4. Get in touch with the funeral home.
It’s best to get in touch with the funeral home within a few days after death. Arrange for a funeral and burial or cremation, and prepare an obituary. In the meantime, keep an eye on the person’s home, answer their phone and collect their mail. You can obtain the death certificate within 10 days after death has been confirmed – make sure you get multiple copies, since you might need them for various government agencies and insurers.