As scary as death is for many of us, recovering from a loved one’s passing goes well beyond the initial grieving period for family and friends. You have to honor the loved one’s memory and give their life and legacy the respect it deserves. There’s also the legal process you have to go through to follow what the person put in their will. 

Finances and other possessions have to be sorted out. Prized possessions may have been requested to be given to certain people in the deceased’s life. 

There are more tedious topics you have to think about, like letting the person’s employer know, cashing their life insurance policy, and looking into auto insurance after death.

We’ll talk about many of the social, emotional, and financial things you need to consider in the immediate and long-term future after your family member or loved one has passed away. Leaning on a support system is the best way to complete everything that must be done and potentially fulfill the deceased’s last testament. 

#1 – See if They Have Life Insurance

A loved one may only have taken out life insurance if they were being relied upon for financial support in some way. This means parents who still have children under 18, people who have a spouse relying on them for income, or an older grandparent who has young grandchildren they are raising all may have taken out a life insurance policy. 

There’s also the specific type of life insurance policy that was taken out. If the loved one dies of natural causes, the family may not be able to cash the policy beyond paying for the burial and final expenses. If you’re someone reeling from a loved one’s death and struggling to figure out how to pay for the burial, there are organizations that will help you. 

Sometimes you’re in the lucky place to take advantage of having a lot of money after cashing a life insurance claim. This means you need to carefully decide what to do with the life insurance money you receive. Talk to an expert or a financial therapist so they can help you avoid spending money needlessly or wasting the money.

Don’t feel guilty about asking a loved one who is financially responsible for you if they have life insurance. This is a conscientious question that will protect you and other loved ones from being lost after the person paying for your needs dies. If your loved one passes away unexpectedly, there are other ways to find out if someone has life insurance.

#2 – Honor Their Will 

If the person who passed away had a will written out and signed, this makes things a lot easier for their family and loved ones.

Try to encourage family members who are getting older or have health problems to write up a will in case anything bad happens to them. This will clear up any issues before they’re created. 

If you’re confused about something in the will, talk to your loved one’s lawyer or legal representation to clear up any misunderstandings. A will needs to be executed properly so family members don’t argue about who gets what possession from the deceased. The person’s will should also be respected because it is their last wish. 

#3 – Take Time to Grieve

It’s so important to remember the grieving process doesn’t end a few days after a loved one passes away. If the death was shocking or unexpected, the initial horror of it happening will subside, but the feelings of grief will crop back up in different ways as time passes. It’s vital to allow those emotions to breathe; ignoring your grief will only make it worse. Pamper yourself to lessen your sadness.

Talk to your family members about how they’re feeling and maybe they can be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to. They might be able to empathize with you and create a safe space to let your grief out. If you think you need professional help, grief counselors and therapists are an option. 

Try to think of the loved one’s life in a positive way. Remember fondly the times you enjoyed with the person instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of death. Everyone is going to pass away, and accepting this fate will help you live the rest of your life in their honor. None of this is easy, so be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty for taking a long time to grieve. 

#4 – Tie Up Loose Ends With the Deceased Person’s Possessions 

We’re not talking about the items in the person’s will here. Tying up loose ends with a deceased person’s possessions means thinking about canceling any subscriptions they had, letting their boss know they have passed away so the company can move their items out of the office, and even talking to their auto insurance company about their death. 

Auto insurance is a purchase that can either be voided after the policyholder passes away or the spouse of the deceased can take their policy and continue to use it as their own. It’s really up to the person’s family to decide what is best for them. 

#5 – Increase Your Responsibility

If your loved one was responsible for a lot of things in your life, their death may be a time when you’re forced to become more mature and grow as a person. This is one of the only positives to having a loved one pass away, and everyone tries to expand their responsibilities in their own ways. 

If your loved one paid for your expenses, you may have to take on more work now. If your loved one shopped for your groceries or fixed things around the house, you’ll have to think about how you’re going to do it now. It’ll take some time to adjust, but you may find yourself doing more than you ever thought possible. 

There is so much to keep track of when a loved one dies. Remain patient, ask for help, lean on your family, and know the initial grief can turn into positive memories of the person who passed away. Making the best out of a tragic situation can be manageable with the right mindset. 

Shawn Laib writes and researches the auto insurance comparison site, He wants to help people who are hurting after their loved one has passed away by giving them accurate legal and insurance information.