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The First 5 Things to do When a Loved One Dies

Published: August 28, 2018

When someone you love dies, the last thing you want to do is talk to strangers or sign paperwork. Unfortunately, there are some things that just need to be done immediately following a death, and being prepared can make the process a little easier when the time comes. And don’t forget to delegate. No one should have to do it all alone.

1. Get a legal pronouncement of death.

Most often, the death of a loved one will occur in hospital or hospice care, and medical personnel will be present to handle this. If they die at home without hospice care, call 911 and have a do-not-resuscitate document ready, if it exists. Without one, paramedics will start emergency procedures and can take the person to an emergency room for a doctor to make the pronouncement.

2. Do nothing.

Immediately following a death (and if the deceased is not an organ donor), you have the option to stay with the body of your loved one for however long you need. Some families choose to sit quietly with their loved one, or share memories. This is a good time to ask a religious or spiritual leader to come, or to call those who might want to visit with the body before it’s moved.

3. Call a funeral home.

Arrangements should be made to pick up the body as soon as the family is ready. If they made advanced arrangements https://www.frenchfunerals.com/pre-arrangements, the deceased will have specified a preference of funeral home. If not, it’s up to the family. This is the time to tell the funeral director whether your loved one wanted to be buried or cremated. They will help with procuring the death certificate, which will be crucial in finalizing the deceased’s affairs, in which certified copies will be required.

4. Contact close friends and extended family.

Calling the family and friends of the deceased shouldn’t be a task you shoulder alone. Sharing such somber news once, let alone numerous times, can be both emotionally and physically draining. Split the list of the people you need to contact between a few relatives and close friends. And speaking of friends, any pets of the deceased will need to be taken care of and found a permanent home.

5. Tend to the property. 

Make sure the person’s home and vehicle are locked up. If the house will be vacant, have their mail forwarded to the post office or have someone come to collect it. Assign people to care for any pets belonging to the deceased until permanent arrangements are made. Clean out the refrigerator, water plants, and pay any final bills.







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