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My loved one died, what now?

Losing a loved one comes with unimaginable grief, stress, and an overwhelming amount of tasks and responsibilities to be dealt with. You are probably feeling a whole sh*t storm of emotions and might not know what to do next. Who should you contact? What needs to be done?

First of all, before tackling anything on this list, be sure to take care of yourself and your emotions throughout this process. Surround yourself with family and friends who are helpers and supporters. Delegate tasks and accept meals, comfort, and other offers of help even if you want to hide in a pillow fort and never come out. Sleep when you can, eat all the funeral potato casserole you want, and drink water.

We created this checklist to help you create a plan to start chipping away at the giant garbage mountain that just landed on you.

✔️ Get a legal pronouncement of death

A medical professional handles this. An official declaration of death is needed in order to get a death certificate issued.

✔️ Inform friends and family.

This might include employers, coworkers, religious communities, or other social affiliations

✔️ Make arrangements for pets

Either find them a new home or board them at a kennel.

✔️ Secure their home

Lock up their home, car, and any valuables.

✔️ Locate any existing funeral or burial plans.

If no plans were found or never discussed with the family then call a family meeting. Discuss funeral plans, budget, and who is responsible for handling what.

✔️ Make funeral or cremation arrangements

✔️ Forward mail

Contact the post office and have mail forwarded to you to keep it from piling up in their home. This will also help you discover what accounts, subscriptions or other services need to be addressed.

✔️ Find out if your loved one had a life insurance policy

✔️ Contact their employer and get any benefit information or paychecks

✔️ Obtain certified copies of the death certificate

Be sure to get multiple copies as you will need to send them to multiple institutions when closing accounts and filing claims.

✔️ Find the will

If you are not aware of an existing will, see if you can find one in the home. If there is a will, check if an executor is named. In the event that there is no will, you will have to contact the probate court and they will name an administrator.

✔️ Contact a probate attorney

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