What to do After the Funeral.
(ThyBlackMan.com) The loss of a loved one is understandably hard on a family, and individuals. It’s a time when emotions are high and, if this is the first loss for a family unit, everyone finds themselves in uncomfortable shoes. Funeral preparation is often handled on a very tight schedule with a small window of time. As the family prepare for the homegoing of their beloved there is not always much time for the reality of the loss to sink in. In some instances, additional family tends to step in to assist when the immediate family simply can’t deal. However, some families must brave the work on their own. Once the funeral services are over everything tends to slow down, and the reality of ones hurt can become overwhelming. If not careful everything in one’s life will shut down due to the grief and pain.
While many will empathize with the lost it is important to remember there is still business to tend to, and it is very important. Whether it is the spouse, or children, of a deceased love one the family must pull together again to take care of the business left behind. Too many times we see bills lapse, property put in jeopardy and too much time passes to get the maximum assistance the family will need.
Though the loss is fresh, and painful, it is important to get a notebook and begin the process of closing out the affairs of the loved one, and seeking assistance as soon as possible for the debt that will require repayment options. Where there are no set plans these are some things the spouse, or family may want to consider in handling affairs of a loved one after the funeral.
1. Be sure you have an adequate amount of death certificates, and make copies of the originals. Every creditor will not need an original copy. It would be wise to send copies unless otherwise stated.
2. Check your states options for dealing with debt. Some states allow you to take out an ad in the newspaper and you are contacted where as in some states you must send letters to all creditors informing them of the passing of your loved one.
3. Get a notebook and make a list of all creditors and account information. If you must write the creditors draw up a generic letter, and simply add the account information to each letter. If there is a spouse or joint accounts this will require a separate letter.
4. Sometimes the funeral home, or your church, will give you a check list of things you must take care of to help with closing out accounts.
5. If necessary, consider hiring an attorney.
6. Breathe. This can be a very overwhelming process…take it one step, and one day at a time.
Unfortunately, too many of our people don’t communicate with family, nor put provisions in place so that their affairs will be set in order whenever they pass. This lack of preparation leads to debt incurred by family, in fighting, and in some instances, ugly legal battles. It is very important to do all we can while we are here to help our family should that time come. Considering a good life insurance policy, that will reimburse the difference to the beneficiary, is something we must do to secure our family.
Having a will, or trust, set in place, and if necessary an executor or your estate that may not be family, for the sake of a smooth transition and keeping the peace is necessary. No family likes to discuss death, but those that set their affairs in order will save the family further heartache in the days to come after a loved one is lost.
Staff Writer; Christian Starr