No one really knows what to do when someone dies unless they’ve been through it first hand.
When we lost my step-sister unexpectedly at the age of 37, it was a real shock and as well as having to deal with the practical side of the situation, you also have to deal with all the emotions that come with the loss too.
What losing someone so suddenly, with a young family of her own, also highlighted for me, was the importance of living life to the full and creating as many memories as possible, as well as knowing what their final wishes are, should anything ever happen.
What to do when someone dies
There are 4 things you must do in the first few days after someone dies:
- Get a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor to be able to register the death
- Register the Death within 5 days
- Arrange the Funeral
- Notify friends and relatives
Once you have registered the death, the Government have a new service called Tell us Once, which enables you to report the death to most government organisations in one go.
Once you have the death certificate, you then need to contact the person’s bank or mortgage, pension or insurance providers to close or change the details of their accounts.
Another difficult task that you might need to do at this time is to arrange for the person’s house to be thoroughly cleaned. This is particularly difficult in the case of a sudden or unexpected loss where emotions are running high. This is where a specialist unattended death cleaning firm can come in useful, as they provide families with experienced and compassionate cleanup professionals to help make this painful process easier.
There is lots of advice out there with handy checklists of things that need to be done, but in this day and age, there is also the person’s digital legacy to consider.
For me, as a blogger, my career heavily relies on my digital identity, so it is important to me to ensure that my career legacy is covered if anything unfortunate was to happen to me.
There are steps you can take yourself e.g.
- In Gmail, you can set up an “inactive account manager”. If you don’t log in your account for a certain period of time, your designee(s) will be notified. You can also set the account to delete after a long period of inactivity.
- For facebook I have set up a Legacy contact. This means that they can post to my timeline and send any final messages and ultimately delete my account should anything happen to me
If this is something you find yourself dealing with, SunLife has some useful information on finding out how to secure your digital legacy.
Probably the biggest tip I have for dealing with the death of someone close is to get the help of family and friends. With a funeral to organise, family and friends to tell, and other organisations to notify, make sure you aren’t taking on too much at an already stressful time.