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A Step-wise Guide of “Things to do” When Someone Close to You Dies

The hardest part of losing someone is that you can’t share the same moments with them ever again. 


Losing someone is daunting but closing the life they lived is even more challenging. Everything from planning a proper funeral to closing financial accounts or subscriptions often makes it quite stressful. 


Understandably you might not be aware of all requisites of settling the deceased family member’s or loved one’s affairs. But nobody said you had to do it all alone. You can take assistance from an attorney regarding the financial matters, a funeral director to handle all the funeral arrangements, and friends or family for emotional support. 


But you can’t take the help unless you know how to go about it! So, here is the checklist of the “things to do” in no particular order. Let’s begin!


Tell Your Friends and Family


Obviously, you are devastated by the news of losing your beloved. But you need to inform friends and family. What you can do is ask someone close to you to spread the word. You can also use the help of social media to let people know. Or you can try sending group texts or mass emails. You can choose whatever medium suits you best. 


Get an Official Declaration of Death


You would require an official declaration of death. Only then can you get the death certificate. Usually, the hospital or the nursing home will handle this part for you. However, if your loved one died at home, you’ll need to get in touch with a medical professional to declare death. For this, all you have to do is call 911. 


Death certificates are an important necessity to settle the deceased’s estates, insurance clearances, and other things. 


Look for Funeral Homes Nearby


Before this, you need to search for documents or will (if any) to find out if the deceased had any prepaid burial plan. If not, you need to choose a funeral home by yourself or with the help of your family. But make sure you decide on all the specifics or services and the location. For instance, if you are a Los Angeles resident, finding a los angeles mortuary will be beneficial. Also, you need to decide about the last rites. For instance, are you planning for burial or cremation? Doing so will allow you to make necessary arrangements accordingly.  


Track Down Assets or Debts


Once you are done with the memorial or funeral service, the next thing would be making an inventory list of all the assets. This might take even months or years. However, if you hire an attorney, they will provide you with all the steps to close all the necessary assets, such as estate, tax returns, brokerage, or bank accounts, quickly.


Other than that, you must create a list of pending bills and settle them accordingly. Also, don’t forget to cancel subscriptions, such as newspapers, magazines, cellphone, or the internet.  




Losing a family member or a loved one is quite excruciating. But you need to settle things quickly and get back to your life. If there are valuables, such as jewelry or cash, lock them up until all the necessary legal formalities are settled. Ask a friend or relative living nearby (if you are far) to water the plants and do the necessary things. 


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