Other things to Do

Perform a thorough check of your loved one’s residence.

  • Park vehicles in a secure and legal area and make sure they are locked.
  • If their home is vacant, consider notifying the police (dial a non-emergency number), landlord, or property manager to periodically check for evidence of damage or forced entry.
  • Throw out any food that will expire, water plants, and look for anything else that may need regular care.
  • Put valuables, such as cash, jewelry, and collectible items in a safe place.
  • Arrange for landscaping to avoid a sign of the residence being unoccupied.
  • Arrange for professional biohazard cleaning if the residence was unattended for an extended time or your loved one’s last days and/or death resulted in bodily fluids accumulating in the home.

If your loved one died in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospice facility, remove their personal property from their room.

  • There may be restrictions on the amount of time you have to do this.
  • There may be substantial charges that you are responsible for after insurance or Medicaid is discontinued following their death.

Organize a post-funeral gathering.

  • It can be held at the church, a banquet hall, or private residence.
  • Enlist the help of friends and relatives to plan.
  • Arrange for food/beverages, whether professionally catered, provided “potluck” by attendees, or arranged by the funeral home or provider.

Notify those close to the deceased about the service.

  • Once a date and time have been set for the service, share the details with those on your contact list and have them spread the word further.
  • Include an address to send cards, flowers or donations.

Make a list of well-wishers. Keep track of who sends cards, flowers and donations so that you can acknowledge them later.

Handle the ethical will, if there is one.

  • An ethical will isn’t a legal document, but rather a letter written to your family and friends that shares your values, life lessons, and hopes for the future.
  • If the deceased left one, arrange to share it, maybe even have it printed or included in a memorial website.
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