The death of a loved one is an emotional and difficult time. Facing such a loss causes many to want to hide and process their grief in private. Immediately following a loss, however, there is much to be done. If you have recently lost a loved one, or anticipating a loss in the near future, a clear list of tasks helps ease the process. Here are a few of the essentials to take care of after the loss of a loved one or family member.

Death Certificate.

Whether the person died in the hospital, in a home, or otherwise, a death certificate is essential. If not in a hospital, or otherwise reported, reporting the death is necessary for obtaining a death certificate.

Review Estate Planning Documents and Make Final Arrangements.

After the death certificate, there are multiple other documents (wills, trusts, advance directives, etc.) which may point you in the next right direction. If these do not exist to tell you the decedent’s wishes for final arrangements, you need to look into arrangements for the mortuary or crematorium, and other final dispositions.

Inform Relatives and Loved Ones.

These are difficult phone calls to make, but relatives and friends may be willing to help out so you don’t have to do it alone. Also, asking those you call to continue the phone tree will help save time and to make sure you don’t miss anyone.

Children and Pets.

If there are minor children or pets left behind by your deceased loved one, arrangements must be made. Estate Planning documents can lend some help with this, but if none exist, it is often up to the family to make plans.

Burial and Funeral.

Again, these plans or ideas might be included in the decedent’s estate plan, but if none exists, it is up to the family and loved ones to make arrangements. There are many options: burial, cremation, funeral, wake, memorial service, or nothing at all.

Settling the Estate.

The final, and often the most time-consuming, stressful, and complicated step is to settle the estate of the deceased. Depending on the assets and affairs of the decedent, a probate or trust administration may be needed. This is where the assistance of an attorney can put you and your grieving family at ease: providing direction, exploring options, and getting started.

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be difficult, and there is much to do, the assistance of an experienced and caring legal team can help make the process simpler. Contact The Boutique Law Group, APLC today to schedule your free consultation to see what we can do for you to help settle the estate and make the necessary arrangements.