Once you have gotten the urgent tasks and decisions out of the way, there are many tasks that you should move on to. After you have decided on the wake, funeral, and disposal of remains, it is time to plan and arrange them. In order to make plans, arrange for, and pay for these, you have to locate certain documents and ensure the executor is involved.
There are family and friends to contact that will need to know, so that they can have the opportunity to attend any wake, funeral, or burial service that’s been planned. Your loved one may have had a list of their names and contact information. Others, such as employers, will need to know to make their own plans.
There are other tasks that need to be done soon to protect your loved one’s estate, such as discontinuing mail, notifying the local newspaper, and doing a thorough examination and survey of their property. Families of veterans may want to contact the VA to see what help they can offer.
Family and friends
In this age of connectivity, it is difficult for news to not travel fast, so most of your extended family and friends will probably already know, but you should make sure.
Executor of your loved one’s estate
If you are not the executor of your loved one’s will, you will need to notify them. They will be required to do many of the tasks, such as getting the will, accessing other records, dealing with finances, and settling the estate. They will probably need to set up an estate bank account for expenses.
Clergy or other spiritual leaders
If you have not already, contact any religious leaders who can provide spiritual support and/or will be involved in ceremonies.
Employers, military units, and volunteer organizations
There may be others that depend on your loved one who will need to be informed.
Veterans Affairs (VA), if applicable
Many additional services and options may be available for military veterans through the VA. A range of benefits can assist you and help you make final decisions about your loved one’s service.
Mail accumulating in your loved one’s mailbox, front porch, or post office box will attract attention. The knowledge that the residence is unoccupied puts the property at risk for theft or vandalization.
Contact the local newspaper
Like the mail, accumulating newspapers is another sign that their residence is unoccupied. Stop delivery before this happens.
If you want an obituary or death notice printed, it will usually be in the local newspaper. Death notices and obituaries can have varying amounts of information; the information you include is entirely up to you.