Tying Up Loose Ends: Taking Care of Business After the Death of a Loved One

The death of a loved one is never easy. Whether it was an anticipated loss or unexpected, losing someone hurts. To add insult to injury, there are a lot of loose ends to tie when a loved one passes. No one should have to go through it alone.

During this time, your world feels frozen while the rest of the world moves along. The shock of death makes handling the simplest tasks seem unbearable. Thus, surrounding yourself with a helpful support system is crucial, because as you will notice, putting someone to rest involves more than making funeral arrangements.

What Happens After the Death of a Loved One?

After the death of a loved one, you may feel as if you’re living a dream. So many people will reach out to you, yet all you want to do is be alone with your thoughts. When dealing with a loss it’s important to balance alone time and family time. Everyone grieves differently, but too much time alone can lead to serious depression. The benefit and burden of a loss are all the tasks you need to do.

Contacting the Life Insurance Company

One of the most important tasks to complete first is locating the life insurance policy. Many people rely on the life insurance money to cover the cost of a funeral, burial, cremation, or memorial.

The insurance company will want to speak with one of the beneficiaries named in the life insurance policy. They also need the death certificate to process the check. If there are no suspicions about the cause of death and the contestability period is over, there shouldn’t be any delays with the distribution of the money. But if there are suspicions of foul play, suicide, or the contestability period hasn’t passed, the insurance company may conduct an investigation.

Each life insurance policy provides different coverage. For more information, please contact your life insurance provider.

Planning a Funeral or Memorial

The next step is planning the funeral or memorial. When doing this, it’s important to plan by the deceased’s wishes. Many people will discuss their preference for burial or cremation. But if the death occurred unexpectedly, you may need to use your best judgment. By selecting LaVista Memorial Park & Mortuary, you’re investing in a company with over 150 years of experience serving the Greater San Diego area. Our patient staff will help you choose your service, flower arrangements, a casket, and more. Though planning and attending a service is difficult it’s the beginning of the healing process.

The Reading of the Will

Many people use wills to reduce the stress for their family. A will offers protection for your loved ones. By using a will, you’re selecting who receives your money, property, and belongings. If you have children, a will can name their legal guardian.

A will must go through probate through the county office. The estate lawyer will alert the estate executor and supply a copy of the will. The will usually name the executor or representative of the deceased estate. The representative handles giving the named beneficiaries their assets from the will. The law entitles immediate family and listed beneficiaries the right to read the will. But the will becomes public when it enters probate. The law doesn’t require a formal reading of the will. But you can schedule to have the will read before or after the funeral or memorial. If a formal will reading doesn’t happen, the estate executor must contact the beneficiaries to make them aware of what money, property, or belongings go to them. But anyone can go to the courthouse and request to view a copy of it.

If There Is No Will

If there is no will, your loved one’s money, property, and belongings get distributed according to the intestate laws of succession in your state. Most laws of succession consider the children and spouse of the deceased to be the next of kin. The next of kin is usually inherits the money and property left behind.

Handling the Estate and Closing Accounts

The estate representative can work with other family members to ensure all assets are given to the proper person or entity. An estate account can be opened to store all funds. The estate attorney can help the executor through the process.

When your loved one dies they leave behind many accounts for settling and closing. Some of the types of accounts include:

  • Banks & Retirement accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Auto insurance
  • Utilities
  • Online stores (Amazon, eBay, Etsy)
  • Social security
  • Health insurance
  • Cable, internet, phone (Cellular & Landline)

To close out these accounts most companies request a copy of the death certificate, your identification, Letter of Testamentary with the executor’s name, and records of the financial accounts. Remember settling someone’s affairs after their passing away takes time. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Seek Support

It doesn’t matter if the death was due to advanced age or happened suddenly, everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. It’s important to have support as you grieve. If you haven’t sought help, then think about grief counseling. Grief counseling occurs in individual sessions and a group setting. While it’s not a cure for how you’re feeling, it can help if you allow it.

Continue the Healing Process

The death of a loved one is life-changing. You’re never the same after losing someone. The road to healing is long and winding, but it is reachable.

Contact us today to discuss your options for a loved one’s funeral.