Practical things to do in the event of a family death
A death is an extremely difficult time in life where there are many decisions to be made at a time of considerable personal stress. If you have recently lost someone close to you or know someone who has recently been bereaved, there are some immediate things that you must do following a death.
Immediate aftermath: If a death occurred suddenly and unexpected, you may need to notify the Gardai and the Coroner. You should also notify the family doctor and the Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths. Funeral directors and undertakers will deal with the arrangements regarding the burial or cremation.The following are practical things that you can do to assist your relatives:
- Download and complete form BG1 from the department of social welfare. (This is a death survivors grant)
- Contact the credit union if he/she has any loans or savings with them as they have a funeral grant. (Undertaker will assist with this)
- Review bank statements both jointly and personally and identify if there were any payments to any assurance companies. If so look for policy details around the house etc. (if any, give the details to the insurance broker or solicitor)
- Search the department of social welfare website for the Widows pension application form (entitled to this regardless of income but will be taxable)
- Contact the solicitor to see if any will was made. (No national register of wills)
- Contact the employer to see if any wages are due or if there is any life cover scheme in place as part of the employment contract
- Review old employment history if worked in any other country and let the solicitor know as there may be entitlements
- Contact the mortgage company to tell them what is happening and if any policies are in place they might know exist; get the information on these
- Notify the tax office
The following documents will be needed when dealing with financial situations: PPS Number, Bank Statements, Marriage certificate, Death Cert (will not be available until after inquest, however it is possible to get a temporary one to assist with financial claiming). Keep a copy of the death notice or paper cut out as some providers initially will accept this to process a claim.
Financial Issues: If you are experiencing financial difficulties following a bereavement, there are supports such as the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) available to help. MABS is a free, confidential service staffed by trained money advisors who can provide advice and assistance during this difficult time.
Other items to consider later: Prepare family budget; Car insurance and Driving Licence; Register of Electors (use Form RFA1 for this); Car loans; TV licence; Dog licence; House Insurance; TV/Phone/bills
Professionals that may be needed: Undertaker; Mortgage Advisor & Bank; Financial Advisor; Solicitor; Landlord or Local Authority; Accountant & Tax advisor re inheritance issues
To avoid becoming overwhelmed, take your time, complete one step at a time. Encourage other family members to get involved with the processes
Can you give me some guidance on what are the practical considerations I need to take when a member of my family dies?