We don’t often like to even think about death, much less prepare for it. But, when our loved ones are approaching the end of life it becomes the forefront of our minds. I’m sure we all have heard that we need a will to prepare a Will but what else do we need to do? Below we have printable checklist of things to prepare before your loved one passes away.

Planning Worksheet

A Few Tips

  • Record policy/account numbers and gather online account logins and passwords. Take the time now to test those online accounts and bookmark on your computer — this is so much easier when your loved one is still alive!
  • Call all banks, insurance companies and places where money and items are stored/invested I.E. life insurance policies etc. Find out what documentation they will require from you to access these accounts.
  • If your loved one can’t provide you with this information you will have to do your own detective work. Check mail/email for bank statements. Log into online accounts when possible. 
  • After you have all the financial stuff organized be sure to go through the steps to act on behalf of your loved one. At some point they will be unable to manage bills and you will need to take over. 
  • Work on genealogy and family history. You might not be thinking about it now but it will be very important later on. Life stories being passed down through generations creates a connection. If you want a loved one to live on forever the best way is to pass their memories down to your children. If they are coherent enough record sessions where you ask them questions. If you have access to some pictures you can use them as prompts. 
  • Also if you don’t have life insurance for your loved one another option can be burial or final expense insurance. These companies offer a much lower payout than life insurance but often have no medical exam requirements. The payout is often used to cover funeral and burial/cremation costs.

When drawing up legal documents it’s highly recommended you seek professional help. An estate attorney is a person whose area of expertise is drawing up documentation specifically for end of life. However if you wish to do it yourself here are some free pdf’s we’ve collected.

Living Will
Power of Attorney
Last Will and Testament

What To do After Someone Dies

Get a pronouncement of death:

Colorado law requires a legal pronouncement of death which must be given by a licensed physician or a coroner. If you are using hospice call them otherwise Call 911 to report the death and police and paramedics will come. The police will treat the area as a crime scene and the paramedics will attempt to resuscitate the body. If you have a DNR (do not resuscitate) order be prepared show it to the police and paramedics. 

Arrange transportation for the body:

The next step will be to call a mortuary or crematory service. They will arrange transportation for the body and will give a time frame in which they will arrive,generally about an hour. If you want to have an open casket funeral embalming services should be performed as soon as possible to achieve optimal results. Embalming  services can range from $400 to $800 depending on the company you pick. Refrigeration of the body is not charged at a daily rate. If you were planning on cremation the price will vary between $700 – $3,000. Lastly, a casket will cost $500 – $20,000.

You may be able to get government assistance with burial expenses. There are certain qualifications and the link will provide all answers you need.