What to Do After the Funeral

After a funeral, grieving family members often ask, “Now what? What is supposed to have next in life?” Once the funeral service and celebration of life is over, things start to settle down and become quiet again as the reality of your loved one’s death is still present. This is a difficult time where emotions are raw. But, it’s important to make an effort to take care of yourself spiritually, mentally, and emotionally during the transition into life again. During the first couple weeks following the funeral, spend time completing the death paperwork while practicing self-care. 

Death Paperwork to Have in Place

It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed with sadness and stress that we find ourselves avoiding important tasks. Set aside a couple hours to get organized, located the following documents and organizing them in folders. 

  • Birth certificate 
  • State ID / passport
  • Marriage certificate / divorse papers (if applicable)
  • Titles to personal property 
  • Tax forms / W-2 forms
  • All insurance documents 

10 Things to Do After the Documents are Organized 

Write Everything Down. 

Consider purchasing a notebook to make note of every important conversation. Write down the date and time of business phone calls, along with the name of the person you talked to.

Request Copies of Death Certificate. 

You will need multiple copies of the death certificate. This can be available by speaking with the funeral director to determine the amount of copies you will need.

Did the Decedent Have a Will?

Following the funeral, check to see if the deceased had a will. You may be required to contact the power of attorney.

Get Mail Redirected.

If your loved one lived alone, be sure to get their mail redirected to a family member’s address. Stop by your local postal service or visit their website to submit a change of address.

Contact Employer.

If still employed, contact their employer to make them aware of the death. 

Contact Health Insurance.

Don’t forget to stop the health care insurance the deceased was using. You may be provided to share legal documentation to prove the death.

Pay Any Straggling Bills.

Some have their bills automatically withdrawn from their account monthly. Be sure to check the bills have been paid until utilities can be shut off.

Close Credit Card Accounts.

When closing credit card accounts, be prepared to show a certified copy of the death certificate.  

Contact Life Insurance Policies.

Check with the deceased's life insurance company to be sure beneficiaries have been contacted. File a claim with the insurance making them aware of the death.

Close Bank Accounts.

Depending on your relationship to the deceased’s, contact their bank account to close all checkings and savings accounts. 


Diehl-Whittaker is a funeral service in Columbus, Ohio who makes every effort to reflect the quality of your loved one’s life. 

The care your family deserves, at a cost your family can afford. 

Contact us today for burial packages, cremation packages, and pre-planning forms

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