Steps to Take In the Wake of a Death of a Loved One

Hand on coffin

Death is a natural part of life, but that knowledge does not make it any easier when a loved one passes away. In addition to planning funeral services in accordance with your loved one’s wishes, there are a number of logistical items that must be taken care of during your grieving. A trusted friend or family member may be able to assist you if you are unable to perform these tasks. Keep reading to learn a few of the steps to take after a loved one dies.

Find the Will

Whether your loved one passed away suddenly or after a bout with illness, there is a chance that he made a will before his death. Though it can be an awkward conversation, you may want to speak with your loved ones while they’re still alive about the location and contents of their wills. After you locate the will of your deceased family member or friend, it will need to be secured. Consult with your family lawyer to find out if it must be filed with the probate court, or if there are different requirements in your area.

Secure Documentation

Just as every person receives a birth certificate when they arrive into this world, death certificates are also issued upon exit. You may need as many as 25 copies of the death certificate to notify banks, credit agencies, insurance companies, investment firms, and any other account that the deceased had. The funeral home will often handle ordering the death certificates, so speak with your representative to find out the details of the process.

Handle the Details

There are many details that need to be addressed when a loved one passes away. For example, you’ll need to forward the mail if there is no one else living at the deceased’s address, and notify the Social Security Administration. Ordering a credit report can give you a good idea of existing accounts and any debts that may be outstanding.


Skylawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park of San Mateo is here to guide you through every step of the way after the death of a loved one. Contact us at (650) 349-4411 to experience the compassionate service and commitment to integrity that have made us a leader in funeral homes. 

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