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After the funeral checklist

The time immediately after the death of a loved one can be extremely overwhelming for families. In addition to grief and bereavement you are required to deal with various legal and financial matters. This checklist is designed to help you get organised. Not every item will apply to you individually but it provides a comprehensive list of tasks that are likely to need attention in the weeks and months ahead.

  • Send thank you notes to acknowledge flowers, memorial donations, food, spiritual remembrances, special services.
  • Obtain copies of the death certificate. You will need these for a variety of legal and financial forms.
  • Gather important documents: life insurance policies, last will and testament, pension cards, stock certificates, deeds and titles, birth certificate, marriage licence. Do not throw anything away!
  • Consult with an attorney or lawyer to commence estate/probate/trust proceedings.
  • Choose memorial masonry or start arrangements for scattering the ashes
  • Finalise bills - funeral invoices, hospital or physician bills, nursing home accounts

Commonly, you may need to notify the following institutions:

  • Insurance companies - funeral prearrangement, life, homeowners, car, medical. Apply for benefits. Change or stop coverage.
  • Superannuation company
  • Financial institutions - banks, credit unions, building societies, loan or mortgage company, credit card company
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Doctor, dentist, etc. 
  • Employer / Former employer
  • Medicare
  • Utilities - telephone, gas, water and electricity
  • Accountant
  • Post office

Here are some other organisations that you may also need to consider:

  • Centrelink
  • Stock broker
  • Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Health insurance company
  • Clubs, organisations and associations
  • Home delivery services - newspaper, groceries, magazine subscriptions
  • Electoral Office
  • RTA

Considerations for the future

  • Attending a grief seminar or class
  • Maintaining your health while grieving
  • In most situations it is recommended to wait at least a year before making major decisions such as selling your home or quitting your job. Think about a leave of absence from work or renting out your place if you want to try something new. Then if things don't work out you still have the option of going back to your old home or job.