The death of a loved one is obviously going to be an emotionally challenging time, but amongst the turmoil and distress, there are also practical issues that need to be addressed, if you are going to be able to say your final goodbyes in the best possible way.
Lawyers like Slater and Gordon are able to provide the sort of professional assistance you will need with regard to sorting out will and probate requirements, and there are no end of other arrangements that you will need to make in the days and weeks after the death of a loved one.
Immediately after a death
If someone dies at their home, you will need to call the family doctor and close relatives immediately, so that you can get a medical certificate from the doctor if the death was expected, and gather everyone around to talk about what needs to be done.
As part of the process, you will normally be given a formal notice confirming that the medical certificate has been signed and giving you information on how to get the death registered. If the person dies in hospital, their body will often be transferred to the mortuary, whilst arrangements are made to take the body back home or to a chapel of rest.
If your loved one dies unexpectedly, their death will have to be investigated by the coroner and a post-mortem might be required to determine the cause of death, which will delay your funeral arrangements.
Organizing the funeral
The first thing that you will need to do is check whether your loved one left any specific instructions as to what they wanted to happen with their body and what type of funeral they wished to have.
If they have left written instructions about their funeral, you can set about carrying out their last wishes and giving them the send off that they deserve and wanted. If they did not specify any funeral details, you will want to think about what type of funeral they might have wanted.
Check to see if they had any life insurance or other policies which would provide a lump sum towards funeral costs. It may be that you will have to pay the funeral costs and claim reimbursement from their estate at a later date.
Telling people about a death
Informing people about the death of a loved one can be draining both physically and emotionally.
Many people have a network of friends, business colleagues and memberships etc, that need to be told about their passing.
There is normally an extensive list of people you need to inform after a death, which range from work colleagues and sporting clubs where they might have been a member, through to official bodies such as banks, utility companies, the passport office and others.
Write a list of everyone you need to contact so that you can check them off as you get through to all of the relevant people.
Saying goodbye to a loved one is always going to be difficult, but there are ways of making the final arrangements less painful to resolve.
Photo by Tijl Vercaemer on flickr – some rights reserved
Guest Author Bio
John Bailey has worked as an undertaker all his working life. Though he deals with death every day, he realizes how difficult it is for other people to deal with it, and accept it. He hopes that through writing articles he can help a wider audience.