Contact the next of kin, especially those abroad who may have to book flights.
If the deceased held an organ donor card, inform the doctor of this immediately.
If the death occurs at home, you may also need to contact a member of the Garda Síochána local police. They will decide if a coroner needs to be called.
Notify others of the death; close friends, relatives, neighbours, employer and work colleagues.Others to notify in the days following the death include:
state authorities e.g. if the deceased was in receipt of a pension or other form of social security payment or health service
the deceased’s solicitor
- will there be a wake? If yes, where will this be held?
- will the body be on view (open or closed coffin)?
- are mourners welcome or is it “house private”, for family only (mention in death notice)
- location, date and time for the services
- content for the death notice
- decide on coffin, casket or pod (for a burial)
- determine if you want ashes scattered or in a container (for a cremation)
- do you want flowers or charitable donations (mention in death notice)
- decide on prayers, readings, offerings, music and structure of the service
- decide on who should be involved in the service and remember to ask them in good time
- make provision for refreshments after the service. Book the venue and arrange caterers.
- standing orders
- newspapers & other journal subscriptions
- milk deliveries
- coal deliveries
- telephone and broadband internet connection
- mobile phone
- bin collection
- TV & radio licence
- postal services (or have them re-directed)
- death certificate – get this from the attending doctor
- any documents about prepaid funeral arrangements, burial plots or burial wishes
- life insurance policies
- pension-retirement benefits and plans
- investment accounts
- business and partnership arrangements
- credit-card statements
- bank statements
- cheque books
- other evidence of assets and liabilities
- marriage and birth certificates
- nuptial agreements
- divorce documentation
- notes receivable
- documents of business ownership or business interest
- stocks, shares, bonds, annuities
- any title deeds for assets, such as land, vehicles or houses
- any leases
- health insurance (to claim for the deceased’s final illness)
- any unpaid bills, notes payable or creditors
- safe deposit agreements and keys
- last tax returns
If the deceased had a will, it should specify who is to serve as the executor or personal representative. The person named is responsible for making sure creditors are paid, assets are distributed and estate tax returns are filed. This is usually the person who will investigate what benefits or insurance proceeds, if any, are owed to the heirs.
If the deceased died without a will (intestate), the law typically indicates who’s in charge: usually a surviving spouse, if there is one, or an adult child or parent. A court hearing will be held to appoint someone, and there could be a disagreement if more than one person wants the role.
If the deceased had financial advisors, such as accountants, solicitors, real estate agents, insurance agents, you should contact them and ask if any matters need to be taken care of immediately.
Arrange for someone trustworthy to look after the house while you and the family attend the funeral. This is an important measure, to guard against burglary.
Avail of help that others may offer in sincerity and remember to keep a note of who to thank. Jobs that may need to be done include:
- Cleaning the house
- Looking after the children
- Looking after an elderly person
- Watering plants at the deceased’s home
- Taking care of the deceased’s pet