Do You Know These Important Steps to Take after the Funeral?
Few occasions are more life-altering than a loved one’s passing. It’s not uncommon for survivors to feel bereft and lost.
Knowledgeable, compassionate funeral providers are there to help you navigate the emotional and practical logistics of planning a memorable funeral or memorial service for your loved one. But once the service has ended, do you know what comes next? Many tasks lie ahead and without preparation they can seem overwhelming. It’s important to note that everything does not need to be done immediately. Here are some key steps you’ll want to take after the funeral.
Start with the key administrative tasks that need attention:
- Locate the decedent’s will or trust and determine the executor or trustee. The named executor or trustee will need to file any necessary paperwork, follow guidelines and laws, and oversee the distribution of property.
- Collect the mail. This will help you track any outstanding bills, memberships, and subscriptions. Compile account numbers, dates of service, and other information you will need to cancel applicable accounts or transfer them to someone else. If you are unsure if you are responsible for your family member’s debt, consult with an estate attorney.
Additionally, you should contact the following entities:
- Social Security Administration (SSA). In Maryland, your chosen funeral provider will generally do this for you as a courtesy. However, it’s always wise to confirm this with your funeral director. Contact SSA to inquire about survivor benefits as you or other family members may be eligible for, such as a portion of the deceased’s Social Security benefits.
- Credit card companies and credit reporting agencies. It’s important to take steps to prevent your loved one’s identity from being stolen or their credit abused. Contact applicable credit card companies to notify them of the death and close his or her accounts. Also contact the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experience, and Transunion, to let them know that the person is deceased to prevent new accounts from being opened in their name.
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If your loved one served in the military, family members may be entitled to a number of benefits. You will also need to contact the VA to stop any benefits that the departed was receiving.
Above all, make time for self-care.
Losing is a loved one is a traumatizing experience. You need time to heal emotionally and adjust to the change. Many people spend time comforting others without paying any attention to their own needs. Take a break, go for a drive, chat with friends and family, and indulge in activities that bring you peace. Dealing with loss can be draining, so it’s important to replenish your energy and step away from your responsibilities whenever you are able to do so.
The loss of a beloved friend or family member requires many emotional and practical adjustments.
The first days and weeks can be challenging as your loved one’s passing becomes more of a reality. This is the time to put your needs first. Having the support of a qualified estate attorney and a caring funeral provider can make this period much easier.
If you have questions or need assistance, we are always here to help. Please contact us anytime to speak to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate staff members.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.