The death of a close friend or family member is often very difficult emotionally. You would probably like to retreat and deal with your grief immediately. But someone has to make sure that everything is organized.
That is why it's a good idea to know about what needs to be done before the unfortunate but inevitable occasion actually arises. There are important practicalities to address immediately after a person close to you passes away. Let's go over a checklist, compiled by Consumer Reports, that outlines the first steps you should take.
Getting organized is rarely fun and is definitely not what you want to do when a friend or family member dies. Maybe you just want to hide away and have a good cry. But dealing with practicalities is also a way to work through grief and to do something for your deceased loved one ... and their loved ones.
Burial and Beyond
Depending on the religion of the deceased, there may be different obligations as to burial or cremation and the time limits for taking care of these matters. Once the body is disposed of as is appropriate for the person, it is on to estate execution. At this point, the most rudimentary aspects of the death have been handled and, once you have a death certificate, it is time to collect documents, inform institutions, and address last wishes and distribution of assets.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you are concerned about the state of your affairs and want to make life easy for those who care for you, talk to an estate planning attorney. Get help.