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What To Do Immediately After a Loved One Dies

When a loved one dies, there is a long list of tasks to complete. Some tasks need to be done immediately, while others can wait days, weeks, or months. Here, we focus on the immediate tasks within the first week of losing a loved one. Amid your grief, we hope this shortlist makes the responsibilities seem a little more manageable. This is a very difficult time. Try taking it one day at a time.

1. Inform friends and family.

Call those closest to you. If you grow exhausted or overwhelmed by retelling of your loved one’s passing, text or email extended family and friends.

2. Obtain a legal pronouncement of death.

Without this, you cannot obtain a death certificate, plan a funeral, or handle the deceased’s legal affairs.

3. Care for your loved one’s home, property, and pets.

If your loved ones had pets, make sure they are being taken care of. Also make sure your loved one’s home is secure.

4. Notify your loved one’s employer.

If your loved one was working at the time of their passing, reach out to their employer.

5. Check if your loved one made funeral or interment plans.

Talk to other loved ones about if they ever discussed pre-arranged plans with the deceased, look for documentation of arrangements in your loved one’s things, or reach out to any funeral homes they may have contacted.

6. Make funeral and interment arrangements.

Select a funeral home and meet with the director to make plans.

7. Write your loved one’s obituary.

Write an obituary on your own, collaborate with the funeral director, or hire a professional obituary writer like us.

8. Rest.

In the time between your loved one’s passing and their funeral, take some time to rest. Get some sleep or just take it easy.


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