After a loved one dies, there are many steps to be taken in this new leg of your life’s journey including dealing with
- one’s emotions,
- notifying friends and family,
- arranging the funeral and disposition of body; and
- settling the deceased’s financial affairs.
Some of these steps and related actions will seem obvious; others, you may not think of at the relevant time. Many of the steps will be the responsibility of the executor if there is one. If there isn’t an executor, one of the steps will likely be having one appointed by the court. For every stage of the post-mortem journey, it is essential to let responsible, trustworthy people help you along the way.
In dealing with the emotional aspects of death, there are several organizations, courses and grief and bereavement counsellors available to assist in this regard. One should be gentle, respectful and patient with oneself in working through our healing process. Two such organizations are:
- Bereaved Families of Ontario- local chapters available province-wide
- Bereavement Network of Ontario
Your local funeral home will also be able to refer you to resources close to you.
Notifying Friends and Family
This can be a very emotional task, whether before or after the funeral. Although there may be certain benefits, including therapeutic, to this process, it may be very helpful to have someone assist with this task. The difficulty of the task is often dependant on people’s reaction to the news and thus you will have to assess and brace yourself for this aspect. If too difficult, you should seriously consider letting someone disseminate the news for you.
Arranging the Funeral and Body Disposition
This is the legal responsibility of the estate trustee (executor). From personal experience I and many others will say that it is best to pre-plan this stage. In so doing, if possible, you will spare yourself the emotional turmoil and headache at the future time you will be grieving. You will also save money—one family friend recently told me they received money back on the death of their loved one due to the results of an investment aspect of their pre-plan. [Please request a referral if desired].
If a pre-plan is not an option, it is again advisable to allow an organized and trustworthy friend or relative to help you with all of the steps involved, as there are many. You may have to compare funeral homes or other locations, such as a faith-based place of worship in terms of fees, services, the size and décor of the religious or tribute service room and the reception room, parking capability, catering options and much more. The options are numerous and will largely depend on when you wish to hold the funeral and the financial resources available.
Andrea Kelly, Lawyer, has extensive experience in wills, trusts, powers of attorney and estate administration matters. She provides clients with a high standard of timely professionalism and expertise, incorporating a very thorough fact finding process. This is quite often enlightening for her clients and facilitates individually tailored services. If you would like to know more, feel free to use the easy contact form or read Andrea’s bio.