150 Decisions To Be Made After a Death

Many people don’t realize the large number of decisions that need to be made following the death of a loved one. There are as many as 150 important details that need attention. We have listed the top 87 here.

A relative, friend, or even a stranger is left with the responsibility of making these decisions, often within 72 hours or less, unless if some of the decisions had been made ahead of time.

150 Decisions To Be Made After a Death

Our consultants can help you make these decisions ahead of time and can offer guidance to your loved ones – so they can focus on what matters most.

Vital Information, Documents:

  1. Take the first step to pre-planning by consulting your Arbor representative for information
  2. Name, address and telephone numbers
  3. How long at present address
  4. Date of birth
  5. Place of birth
  6. Legal proof of age or birth certificate
  7. Citizenship, citizenship papers
  8. Social Insurance Number
  9. Business name or employer’s address/contact
  10. Occupation and title
  11. Father’s name
  12. Father’s birthplace
  13. Mother’s maiden name
  14. Mother’s birthplace
  15. Religious name (if applicable)
  16. Military Service Serial Number (if applicable)
  17. Military Discharge Certificate (if applicable)
  18. Legal Will and Power of Attorney
  19. Pensions
  20. Insurance policies (life, health, car, property)
  21. Investments
  22. Bank books, account numbers
  23. Deeds to properties (house, cottage)
  24. Bill of sale of automobile, boat, other
  25. Income tax returns, receipts, cancelled checks
  26. Disability claims
  27. Cemetery Certificate of Ownership
  28. Marriage License
  29. Addresses of children, relatives, close friends etc.
  30. Passwords: computer, accounts, social media

Personal Choices, Final Wishes:

  1. Meet with funeral director, cemetery representative, and/or clergy about details of wishes
  2. Discuss options with loved ones
  3. Choose cremation or burial
  4. Select style of urn or casket
  5. Which funeral practitioner or crematorium to call
  6. Place where service is to be held, ie: funeral home, religious institution, other
  7. Length and location of the visitation
  8. Reception location (funeral home, church, other)
  9. Service type (religious, military, casual, themed, etc.)
  10. Celebrant (funeral director, clergy, other)
  11. Select pallbearers and other participants
  12. Choose flowers and/or a commemorative display
  13. Choose music (spiritual, popular, live or recorded)
  14. Select readings (religious and/or secular)
  15. Charitable organizations for in-memorial donations
  16. Select catering style (classic, gourmet, themed, custom)
  17. Select the cemetery/mausoleum
  18. Cemetery lot or niche or crypt location
  19. Vault or sectional crypt
  20. Style of memorial (marker, stone, niche, bench, etc.)
  21. Decorative elements and inscriptions
  22. Interment service details, celebrant etc.
  23. Note the details/people to be included in obituary
  24. Make notes on what to include in eulogy
  25. Transportation for deceased
  26. Transportation for family (coach, procession, limo)
  27. Determine budget and how expenses will be paid: (Full amount due at the time of crisis, or, in affordable installments available by pre-planning)

Who to Notify When a Death Occurs:

  1. Funeral home and cemetery
  2. Doctors/medical practitioners
  3. Relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors
  4. Employers of deceased
  5. Insurance agents (life, health & accident)
  6. Organizations (religious, fraternal, civic, veterans, unions)
  7. Lawyer, accountant and executor
  8. Bankers, investors, creditors, government

Responsibilities at Time of Death:

  1. Set time/date of services, visitation, internment
  2. Inform and instruct pallbearers
  3. Clothing for the deceased
  4. Create online memorial (ie: Sharing MemoriesTM)
  5. Social media announcements
  6. Write eulogy or provide notes to assist the writer
  7. Prepare home for receiving visitors
  8. Check and sign legal papers, burial permits etc.
  9. Place obituary or provide vital statistics about deceased to newspaper
  10. Respond to phone calls, messages, cards
  11. Arrange lodging for out-of-town guests
  12. Make list of callers and floral tributes for mailing thank you cards
  13. Arrange for any special religious requirements
  14. Check Will regarding specific wishes
  15. Order the Death Certificate
  16. Arrangements for care of dependents and pets
  17. Arrange clergy participation, pay clergy fees
  18. Pay utilities and other current or urgent bills (mortgage or rent, taxes, installment payments)
  19. Pay any outstanding medical or legal fees
  20. Pay florist and caterers, unless paid in advance
  21. Pay funeral fees, unless paid in advance
  22. Pay cemetery fees, unless paid in advance

It makes sense to plan many of these decisions now. It spares your loved ones from unnecessary stress and guarantees your personal wishes are met.

Have further questions about funeral insurance? We would be happy to help. Call 214-794-4737 or fill out our online form.

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