While the death of a loved one is undoubtedly going to be a time of great sorrow and emotional strain for anyone who knew them, it’s important to understand that there are still some formal steps that must be taken when a person dies. However, it’s important also to note that this burden shouldn’t be left for one person alone to shoulder, and that if you need help fulfilling any of the steps listed below, you have every right to ask for it from friends, family and Aberdeen funeral directors.
If your loved one has just passed, or you want to be prepared in the event of someone close to you dying, here are 13 formal steps that must be taken:
- Medical certificate
In order to confirm the cause of death for the coroner, a medical certificate must be gained from the appropriate source. If a person has died in their own home (or someone else’s home), then their GP will arrange this for you. Should they have died while in a hospital, care home, hospice or similar facility, their manager should take care of this for you.
- Inform next of kin
If you’re not the deceased’s next of kin, they must be informed along with other members of their family.
- Contact relevant others
There may be close friends or carers (voluntary or paid) that need to be informed of the individual’s passing, along with other people such as employers and landlords, for example.
- Note everything down
There can be a lot to take in when someone dies, and it can be useful at a later date to have jotted important things down in a notebook so that you don’t forget them when needed.
- Secure the property
If the deceased individual lived alone, it’s important that you make arrangements as soon as possible, to secure their home, remove any pets, and cancel any deliveries that might be pending, or which regularly occur, such as newspapers and groceries.
- Register the death
As soon as you have the medical certificate, you can go ahead and register the death.
- Make copies
It’s important to make several copies of the death certificate, as you never know how many parties may need it.
- Select a funeral director
If your loved one hasn’t made any funeral arrangements with a local director (such as with a prepaid funeral), you will need to choose a funeral director so that arrangements can begin for a burial or cremation.
- Make funeral arrangements
Once you’ve chosen a funeral director, you can start to plan the funeral and make all of the necessary arrangements. If your loved one has left any specific instructions, take care to honour them as best you can.
- Check whether there is a will
If there is a will, it should detail the person who has been made responsible for dealing with the finances of your loved one, and if there isn’t one, how the estate is managed will be determined by intestacy rules.
- Cancel accounts and contracts
If your partner has sadly died, you will need to take action to cancel accounts or contracts, or transfer them to your name instead, such as bank accounts and utility contracts.
- Open up to friends and family
The burden of loss is almost always relieved through talking and the sharing of your feelings. If you have nobody close to you that you feel comfortable talking to about your grief, you can always turn to professional bereavement counseling to offer you support and guidance. You may also need to advise your employer of the situation.
- Find out about probate
The official process that deals with a deceased person’s property, assets and finances in the event of their death, you will need to find out whether you must carry out probate.
Losing a loved one can come as a shock, but even if you’re prepared and knew that their passing was imminent, the formalities can still be tough to deal with. Be sure to involve others where appropriate and/or possible, and never try to deal with everything alone.