Losing a friend or family member is a very stressful experience, especially if the death has come about unexpectedly. During this time, it can be difficult to know what the correct processes and procedures are to go through. Emotions can be high, and so it can be easy to lose track of what happens when and what your obligations are.
This article looks at some of the more common procedures that need to be taken into account following the death of a family member or close relative for which you have responsibility and can help make things simpler.
Seek a Formal Declaration of Death
Part of officially registering the death will involve specifying the cause of death. In some circumstances where the cause of death was unknown, or the death may have arisen from suspicious circumstances it will be referred to a coroner. A coroner’s inquest can take up to six months from the date of death. If it’s found that the death was a result of medical negligence, you will need to find out the medical negligence claims time limit and begin the process of making a claim.
After the coroner’s verdict, or if the cause of death was clear the death can be officially registered by a medical professional. They will need to formally pronounce whoever has passed away as dead. If the death has occurred outside of a place where there are medical professionals present then you will need to follow this process. If someone has died in a hospital, for example then this will usually be done by a member of the medical staff in that institution.
Arrange a Ceremony or Funeral
After someone has died their body will usually be transferred to a mortuary or a funeral home. It’s at this point that you will be able to make decisions about whether the body will be buried or cremated. Both places will be able to provide you with official certificates of death.
Before passing, whoever has died may have specified their preference as to whether they would like to be cremated or buried. This might make this decision easier as you should honor their last wishes. They may have also left money behind to pay for all or part of a ceremony – which can be found in their will.
Once you have organized the funeral, or a few days before you do, you will need to notify friends and family about their death. This can be a very difficult activity, and it may help to have someone close to you to help you with this.
Deal with Bills and Housing
One of the last things you will need to do is inform utility companies and cancel social security. This will ensure that any benefits they were receiving will stop and that things like power and water are turned off in their home. Banks, employers, and any other accounts will also need to be canceled.
After this, you will need to begin clearing out their belongings from the house and put them into storage, sell them, or give them away to goodwill.