“Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult. We hope this information will help you focus on what you need to do and what you may wish to delegate to friends and family. This brochure will provide you with some basic information on what you may need to know in the first few days following a death. You should establish an early relationship with your attorney to assure that all matters are properly addressed. Seeking your attorney’s advice before you act may avoid more costly legal services later.
One to Three Days after Death
Deceased’s Instructions: Look through the deceased’s papers (and potentially his or her safe deposit box, see below) to find if she or he:
• had a prepaid burial plan
• belonged to a memorial society
• had written instructions regarding her/his funeral arrangements
Complete the Funeral and Burial Arrangements: Ask a trusted friend or family member to go with you to the mortuary to advise and support you in making the funeral and burial arrangements. Arrangements may include transfer to another location, burial or cremation. You may ask a clergy member to assist you. If the deceased was a member of a funeral society, you can obtain a lower rate on cremation or funeral services.
Financial Assistance: If the deceased was on public assistance, burial assistance may be available. Contact your local County Department of Social Services as soon as possible. Total expenses of burial will be limited to qualify for the benefit so investigate this possibility before contracting for funeral arrangements.
If the deceased was in the military or is the spouse or dependent child of a person in the military, contact the VA cemetery or VA office. There may be burial benefits. The mortuary will call the VA at your request.
Contact fraternal and religious organizations that may conduct funeral services and other organizations of which the deceased was a member. If you have concerns that you cannot resolve with the funeral director or management of the funeral home, contact the Funeral Service Helpline at: (800) 228-6332.
Other Assistance: Choose someone you know and trust to help with the following:
• answer the phone
• collect mail
• care for pets
• stay at the home during the funeral to guard against potential break-ins occurring while the family is at the funeral
• take care of perishable property
• provide food for family and friends after the funeral”
Our office has helped many grieving families and friends with the difficult matters that need to be handled after a loved ones death. We understand the pain of the loss can make these matters extremely stressful and we try to assist in a way that alleviates some of the pressure.
The above excerpt was from a pamphlet is published as a public service by the Colorado Bar Association. Its purpose is to inform citizens of their legal rights and obligations and to provide information regarding the legal profession and how it may best serve the community. Changes may have occurred in the law since the time of publication. Before relying on this information, consult an attorney about your individual case.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is not intended to be legal advice. View Full Disclaimer