The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult moments one can face. Sadness and shock often make it difficult to know what should be done when that occurs. Set forth below is a summary of some of the most important issues that must be addressed.
The first step is to make burial arrangements. Many people pre-plan their funerals and pay for them before death. This is the best approach – it avoids family arguments about arrangements if the decedent made them already. So the first step is to identify whether the decedent made such arrangements, and to contact a person at the funeral home or other facility to assist.
If the decedent did not make prior arrangements, one should review the decedent’s health care directive and will to determine if his or her intention was expressed in either of those documents. If so, the family would be most respectful to follow the decedent’s wishes.
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