What to Expect after the Funeral
Life goes on, and you’ll find yourself, to one degree or another depending on the day or time-of-day; feeling out-of-sync with what is going on around you. You’ll be faced with strong emotions, intermittent fatigue, still have to cope with daily life and also be responsible for taking care of many details related to your loved one's life and estate. Our guide to the early days of after a death of someone dear to you can help.
Practicing Good Self-Care
Immediately after the funeral or memorial service, you should give yourself adequate time to rest. While you may find sleep to be elusive, you can always just lie down and shut your eyes for a time.
Remember to eat, and drink enough fluids. Do your best to calm your mind. And when you are compelled to complete an important task related to the death of your loved one, never hesitate to call upon a friend or family member to help.
If you find you need more grief support, we offer valuable information for you here on the nature and purpose of grief, the varied experiences of grieving, and offer insights on ways you can help yourself heal after loss.
We also offer support in an on-going aftercare program to support you and your family in completing pertinent documents and ensuring your affairs are looked after. Please call us to learn the many ways we can assist you after the funeral.
Dealing with Practicalities
There are certain practical matters you’ll need to attend to after the death of a loved one. A brief overview of these could include:
Send notes to acknowledge expressions of sympathy such as flowers, visits, delivered food, etc.
Make copies or purchase additional newspaper copies of the obituary for family members and/or friends. Notify out of town relatives and friends- send a memorial folder?
Check the contents of safe deposit items and know where the key is located. Notify banking institutions, financial brokers, investment firms, retirement accounts of the passing.
Check promptly on any debts/monthly payments including credit cards to avoid any delay in future payments. Speak with companies to see if any payments are on automatic withdraw from the deceased’s accounts to avoid possible overdraw fees.
File for social security benefits that may apply. Our funeral home staff will notify Social Security Administration of the passing of your loved one.
If applicable, file for veteran benefits. Our staff can assist with this notification.
If your loved one lived alone, be sure to check the security of the home, notify utility companies, landlord and post office delivery.
Order cemetery monuments or request engraving. We recommend Mike Sunday for these needs. 717-456-5256 www.whiterosememorials.com If the grave is not marked at the time of the interment, be sure to ask our staff for a temporary marker at no additional cost to the family.
Be sure to check with life insurance companies and pension/retirement account brokers to see if beneficiaries need to be updated. In addition, file for life insurance benefits if applicable.
Locate the will; be sure to notify an attorney and executor in order to proceed with filing. In addition, if there are living wills/medical directives/power of attorney documents, be sure to review documents for any necessary updates.
Review the title of all vehicles and discuss any necessary changes with the insuring automobile company.
Review health insurance for any necessary changes and inform the company of the passing. This would also apply to Medicare/Medicaid benefits.
Consulting a Lawyer
When things are really complex, or if you’re just not comfortable handling an estate, you may want to bring in an estate attorney. At the very least, check in with one after you’ve completed what you can. We’d recommend telling them what you’ve done, and asking them if you’ve missed anything along the way. Chances are, they can tie up any loose ends in an hour or two – and the peace-of-mind you’ll receive in return for their fee is well worth the price.
For further information about the legalities of death, click here.