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What to do After a Loved One Dies

Losing a loved one can be an extremely difficult time, especially if it happens unexpectedly. While you may be shocked and devastated by the loss, there are several things that must be organized. Read on to learn what you should do if someone close to you passes away.


  1. Report the death if necessary — If someone you know passes away in their home or in a location outside a hospital or hospice, it’s important that you report the death to the proper authorities. Medical facilities will know what needs to be done after someone dies. Reporting the death is important because you will need a death certificate to complete various tasks, like making funeral arrangements and working with banks and insurance companies.
  2. Arrange the service — You’ll need to reach out to a funeral director if you haven’t already been in contact with one. Many people pre-plan funeral arrangements, which makes things easier on friends and family after their death. If the deceased has not planned anything, you’ll need to determine what type of service (if any) to arrange. If you plan on a burial, you’ll also need to contact the cemetery where you plan to bury them.
  3. Choose cremation or a burial — Some people specify if they would rather be cremated or buried after their death. Other times, the family of the deceased must make the decision. If the person has requested to be buried, you’ll need to pick out a casket and headstone. If they are to be cremated, you’ll need to choose an urn and sometimes even a casket for cremation. Often, these products are all available to you through the funeral home. Funeral directors can usually assist you with these purchases, as well.
  4. Plan details of the funeral/memorial service — Most funerals and other services, including non-religious celebrations of life, take a great deal of planning. Religious officiants, speakers, pallbearers, readings of a religious text, programs, and guestbooks are all details that may have to be arranged for service. Funeral directors can assist with organizing many aspects, but you’ll need to make some personal decisions regarding how the service will be carried out.


Ultimately, losing a loved one is always going to be difficult. Pre-planning the funeral or having an understanding of what comes next after someone dies can make the burden much lighter. Contact us today if you are interested in talking with one of our funeral directors about planning for your funeral today.