Living with Loss: Do You Know What to Expect After the Funeral?

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Monday, December 28, 2020

It takes time to adjust to the loss of a loved one. Once the funeral is over, you may feel as if you're left without any type of road map.

Just as your funeral provider and funeral director guide the planning and execution of your loved one’s funeral or memorial service, there are also tasks that will need your attention after the service. While some to-dos are more time-sensitive, others can wait until you feel emotionally and mentally prepared. Below is some helpful guidance as to what to expect after the funeral.

Locate the will and begin the estate settlement process.

One of the most time-sensitive tasks is to determine the designated executor of the deceased’s will or trust and file the original documents with the local probate office as soon as possible. Settling an estate can take anywhere from a few months to several years. Use this time to give yourself a pause. Permit yourself to put off making potentially emotionally-charged decisions right now. It is perfectly fine to wait until the estate is settled to distribute your loved one’s property.

Notify necessary institutions.

It’s important to notify the Social Security Administration and any other applicable government agencies in a timely manner to end or begin receiving benefits. A surviving spouse or children may qualify to receive a one-time $255 death benefit from the Social Security Administration. Additionally, survivor benefits may be available for spouses and ex-spouses who were married to the deceased for ten years or more. Contact his or her employer’s human resources department to determine how and when any final paychecks and benefits will be distributed. If your loved one served in the U.S. military, you may be entitled to some of the deceased’s benefits. Contact Veterans affairs and be sure to have your loved one’s VA or service number and dates of active duty on hand.

Protect your departed loved one from identity theft.

Start by contacting relevant credit card companies to inform them of your family member’s passing. To further reduce the chance of identity theft and other forms of financial fraud, contact the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) so they can add a ‘deceased’ flag to the account.

Unpaid bills will also need to be dealt with over time.

Collect any mail that is addressed to the departed. Track all of the account numbers and be sure to notify the companies that he or she passed away. You'll also want to contact and cancel any memberships and subscriptions. If your spouse passed and you are worried about how to handle their unpaid bills, note that in some states surviving spouses are not responsible for paying off the other’s debts. Know your rights. Become familiar with your state’s laws or better yet, consult with an estate attorney.

Be gentle with yourself.

Finally, a ‘task’ that is vital to your wellbeing is to practice self-care. Drink plenty of water, eat properly, and rest when you can. Try to get outside for walks and keep in touch with others, even if it’s just a periodic call or Zoom chat with a trusted family member or friend. If you require additional support, look into local grief support groups at your church or community center. Others who know what you're going through can help you adjust to life after the funeral. It will take time, so allow yourself to heal at your own pace.

We hope this information is helpful as you travel your grief journey. If you have additional administrative questions, we are always here for you. Please contact our caring team anytime.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

How to Choose Photos that Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life

When a loved one passes away, surviving friends and family members are left with precious memories. Photographs and other mementos take on special significance. Whether you are writing an obituar...

Seven Imaginative Ideas for Your Loved One’s Celebration of Life

Are you considering hosting a celebration of life for a departed loved one? Unlike a funeral or memorial service, these events focus on joyful remembrance rather than grief. You can hold a celebr...

FEMA Announces COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through a dedicated call center. Please see the call line information below: 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-758...

Upcoming Webinar: Managing Change & Grief - April 14

We hope you will join us! Recognizing that professional counseling can be an important part of the grieving and healing process, we have invited Leslie Holley, MA, LCPC, NCC, and certified counsel...

5 Reasons Why a Will Can Protect Your Family

When you wrote your will, you likely created it based on what your life was like at the time. But like many things, changes in life circumstances are inevitable. Therefore, it is always a good ide...

Retain Your Independence with these Helpful Senior Lifestyle Tips

Aging is different now than it was for previous generations. More people are living longer than at any other time in history. To support that longevity, there are a growing number of helpful reso...

Funeral Favors Offer a Unique Way to Honor Your Loved One’s Memory

Offering guests a small favor is a lovely way to keep memories alive after a funeral service or celebration of life. While these keepsakes are an optional part of funeral planning, they represent...

Sympathy Gifts: A Beautiful Way to Express Your Love and Support

A sympathy gift can be a heartwarming way to demonstrate your support for someone who is grieving. Whether you choose a gift that helps your friend through the bereavement process or one that hon...

Writing the Perfect Obituary isn’t Hard if You Follow These Pointers

Obituaries come in all types and sizes. They can be long or short, elaborate or basic, entertaining or straighforward. At one time, death notices contained only essential information: who passed ...

Celebrating Black History Month During COVID-19: Six Meaningful Ideas for You and Your Family

February marks the start of Black History Month, a federally-recognized celebration of the many contributions of African Americans. This year’s theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and...