How to Handle the Passing of an Elderly Relative

January 24, 2022

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a death in the family. These events can take months or even years to recover from and can lead to families coming together – and sometimes breaking apart – due to the emotional turmoil and the process of dividing the deceased’s estate. This article looks at how you can handle the passing of a loved one, covering the emotional recovery process, the funeral and remembrance planning, and finally the tricky task of managing their estate or trust. 

Emotional Recovery 

Deaths cause grief and, if your late relative suffered in their final days, weeks, or months, a certain amount of trauma, then the grief can be more intense. These complex and deeply felt emotions are difficult to process on your own, which is why so many families come together to grieve, sharing stories and memories. However, sometimes you’ll need more support to keep you from despair. 

This can come in several forms. There are grief counselors who work specifically with those who have recently lost a loved one. They’ll use their experience to help you through the grieving process, showing you there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You can also rely on friends as well as family members, who will rally around you in your time of need. Seek this extra help if you feel you’re struggling emotionally with your loss. 

Funeral Planning

It’s usually the responsibility of the next-of-kin to organize funeral arrangements for a recently deceased relative. That might be you, or it might be a close family member with whom you’ll work on plans for the funeral. It’s worth checking the will of the deceased in advance of any planning if they stipulated how they’d like to be remembered and how their funeral should look. 

In the absence of such interactions, it’s down to you as a family to come together and plan something that does justice to the wonderful memories you shared with your loved one. You’ll have basic decisions to make – like whether to bury or cremate – and also involved processes to go through, like creating an invites list of friends, family, and colleagues. All this is easier if you work as a team within your family. 

Dividing the Estate

This is where lawyers step in, giving you the detail of the will in plain English and helping you manage and divide an estate or a trust fund. Speak with the compassionate experts at Northern California Trust & Estate Lawyers to start the process of carefully dividing the assets of a loved one so that everyone is happy when the process is completed. 

The moment a death in the family can turn ugly is when the will is unsealed, and the deceased’s property, estate, and assets are pored over and divided. This usually happens shortly after the death of your loved one, when emotions are already running high, and you’re likely not in the most conciliatory of moods. It’s always best to instruct the help of a lawyer.

Make use of these tips when you’re casting about what to do and how to recover in the wake of the death of a loved one.

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