It is estimated that about 60 million people worldwide pass away every year, leaving millions of grieving survivors behind. After a loved one passes, they leave behind an entire life that must be closed out. As such, the job of handling all the personal and legal details involved in managing the aftermath of a loved one’s death will likely fall to you sooner or later. Therefore, it is prudent to be adequately prepared to act in the dearly departed’s best interests. If you wish to know more concerning what to do when a loved one dies, please look at these points.
- Take care of yourself
It isn’t uncommon to let yourself go physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally following the passing of a loved one. However, it is crucial to take care of yourself to prevent any personal breakdowns during this trying period. Consequently, prioritise getting enough sleep, eating balanced diets, taking regular showers, and making little time for relaxation. In addition, it might be prudent to see a therapist within this period, especially if you are battling with intense feelings of grief. Thankfully, many mental health professionals exist to help people like you navigate grief, so it is worth reaching out to them for help.
- Handle their legal affairs
You may also need to handle the deceased’s legal affairs to put things in order. As such, it might be prudent to find their will and executor since your loved one’s survivors must know where any property or money will go. In addition, you may also need to contact their CPA or hire one if need be. Finally, if your loved one passed due to someone else’s negligence, it is crucial to pursue legal action and get the justice they deserve. For this, consider hiring trustworthy wrongful death lawyers to help you receive the necessary compensation and justice the family deserves.
- Obtain a legal pronouncement of death
If your loved one passed on in a nursing home or hospital where a doctor was present, the staff will likely handle this. A legal pronouncement of death is the all-important first step to obtaining a death certificate. It is an essential piece of paperwork that will come in handy in many developments following their death. However, if your friend or relative died at home, you will need to get a medical professional to declare them dead, especially if their passing was unexpected. For this, you can call 911 after their demise and have them transported to an emergency room. Here, they will be declared dead and transported to a funeral home pending arrangements. After getting their declaration of death, you can then plan a funeral, handle their legal affairs, among others.
- Inform friends and family
If the deceased is a family member, informing other members about their passing is undoubtedly essential. Additionally, even if the person isn’t a family member, the task of breaking the news to their friends and family may still fall to you, so it is best to handle this with utmost courtesy. If you are breaking the news about a family member’s death, you can inform other relatives in multiple ways you deem fit since there is no right way to break such information. A quick phone call may suffice for some families, whereas a text message or email may be alright for others. However, consider splitting the task of delivering the news between multiple family members to reduce your burden. If you are breaking the news about a friend’s death, you can go through their email and phone contacts to identify and inform coworkers, family members, and social groups they belonged to. Then, ask the recipients to broadcast the news by notifying other people connected to the deceased.
- Make Some Essential Cancellations
Although this isn’t widespread in the Philippines, about 800,000 deceased Americans reportedly get their identities stolen intentionally every year. Many identity thieves target dead people for new identities, so it is crucial to preserve your loved one’s identity by terminating numerous services and subscriptions. Consequently, you can call the Land Transportation Office to cancel their driver’s license and remove their names from the records. Additionally, call their credit card providers and inform them that you are closing an account on behalf of your deceased relative. Furthermore, you can reach out to their insurance providers to terminate insurance policies and request the return of any unused premiums. In addition, you can delete or memorialise their social media accounts and close all their email accounts to prevent identity theft and fraud.