What to do When a Spouse or Loved One Dies
When someone you love has died, the process of getting all of the paperwork together and planning the service can be overwhelming.
- What do you do first?
- Who should you call?
- Our checklist can help you with the decisions that need to be made before and after the funeral.
Table of Contents
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information.
GET HELP WITH FUNERAL COSTS
$9,000 or more. Caskets cost an average of $2,000 to $5,000 alone. Cremation containers can also be a significant expense, since urns cost as much as $2,250. These prices don’t include items like flowers, obituary notices, transportation costs, or burial markers.
It’s important to set your budget before choosing a funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home. Not all funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes will operate with your best interest in mind. For example, most funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约homes only showcase their most expensive caskets. But most of the time they have less expensive caskets available. They can even use caskets bought from third-party distributors. Buying outside of the funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home can save you hundreds – or thousands – of dollars.
If you already have a funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home selected, call and tell them that your loved one has died. They will help you set up an appointment to make the necessary arrangements. If you don’t have a funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home in mind, ask a friend or relative for recommendations. If you have a church, your clergy may also be able to make suggestions for you.
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Decide on arrangements
Making arrangements at the funeral 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home can be the most overwhelming responsibility of all if you don’t know your loved one’s final wishes. Some of the main decisions you’ll be making include:
- Whether your loved one will be cremated or buried
- Whether there will be a viewing or visitation
- How the funeral service will be conducted
- Whether there will be a procession to a cemetery
In addition, you’ll make arrangements for flowers, transportation, music, and often, a reception afterward. In all cases, having a close relative or friend help you with the decisions can make the process a lot easier.
Write the obituary
Obituaries include basic facts about the deceased’s life and are often written by family members or close friends. The obituary can be handed out at the service, printed in a newspaper, or posted online.
After the funeral
Some important things that need to be done after the funeral include:
- Start making plans for how to handle your loved one’s estate. It’s helpful to work with an attorney to settle estates worth over $50,000. This can be a long and complicated process, because it involves taking an inventory of and distributing a loved one’s financial and physical assets, paying their outstanding debt, and executing the will in court.
- Cancel (or transfer into your name or estate) any credit cards, gym memberships, bank accounts, utility service accounts, and cell phone accounts.
- Stop any deliveries such as newspapers, 永续合约|合约交易所_永续合约home-meal services, and nurse visits.
- Go to the post office to stop or forward mail.
- Collect the special lump-sum death payment from the federal government. Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse (or child if there’s no eligible spouse).
- If you are the spouse of the deceased, apply for any benefits you are eligible for such as pension benefits, any company-related benefits, and any government benefits.
- Cancel their email accounts.
- Delete their social media accounts on sites like Facebook and Instagram, or update them to be memorial pages.
Losing a loved one is overwhelming, especially if it happens suddenly. There are literally hundreds of decisions that need to be made, all in a very short period of time.
Families are often left unprepared to handle all of the logistics of handling the deceased’s estate and planning the funeral. Most importantly, they aren’t prepared for how much the funeral will cost.
Funeral costs have been rising steadily over the last decade. Without the proper guidance, families can emotionally overspend by hundreds or thousands of dollars.