When a loved one passes away, it can be a confusing and overwhelming time. Unfortunately, there is a lot that needs to be done even if you’re struggling with your grief. Have another family member or professional help you accomplish the steps outlined here, which you will need to take when a friend or family member passes away.

Get a Legal Pronouncement of the Death

Someone has to legally pronounce your loved one as deceased. If he or she passes away in a hospital, the attending doctor or nurse will make the pronouncement. If he or she dies while at home, you will have to call someone to make the pronouncement. This could be the hospice nurse if he or she was in hospice care, or you may have to call 911 for the paramedics to transport to the deceased to the hospital so a doctor can make the pronouncement. The time of the pronouncement is the time that’s put on the death certificate. It may not be the exact time of death, as it can be difficult to determine, but it is the legal moment when a doctor or nurse pronounced the death. As long as you’re in contact with a medical professional at the time of death, this legal pronouncement shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s important that you make sure it has occurred since someone is not legally considered deceased until it has.

Acquire the Death Certificate

An excellent funeral home like Legacy Cremation Services will help you acquire the death certificate, which is extremely important. This certificate states the details of the death (including that pronouncement time) and serves as legal proof of death. You will need to obtain multiple copies of the death certificate since you’ll have to show it to several different institutions. You’ll need to provide it to the deceased’s bank so you can close the account, to creditors, and to the life insurance policyholder. You might also need to show it to receive Medicaid or pension benefits. Additionally, the death certificate is important in preventing identity theft. If a new credit or debit card is opened in your loved one’s name, you’ll have the certificate to prove that it’s not him or her. Your loved one’s funeral home will help you obtain the death certificate and figure out who needs a copy.

Begin the Process of Probate

Ideally, your loved one provided a will and someone was made its executor. If you’re the executor of the will, you’ll need to start the probate process (even if your loved one did not write a will, you’ll still need to start probate to settle the estate). During probate, the court will authenticate the will and determine the executor, who will then need to locate the deceased’s assets. Debts are paid during probate and the estate is distributed to beneficiaries. Probate can seem complicated and it’s not a process you want to mix up. The easiest thing to do is to work with family law solicitors in North Brisbane, so they can help you go through each step of probate and settle the estate accurately. Solicitors will ensure you’ve handled every step and provided every legal document that’s required.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed after the death of a loved one, know that you’re not alone. Work with the funeral home or your lawyer and accomplish every task that’s required after someone’s passing. These professionals will make sure you’ve completed every form and handled every aspect of the estate. You will have to spend some time settling matters, even if you’re struggling with your grief, but make sure you’re allowing others to help you when they can.