What to do When a Loved One Dies

No one is ever prepared for a loved one to pass, nor do we like thinking about it. The funeral ceremony can make a significant difference for those who are grieving a loss. It is essential to have a personalized and meaningful ceremony that helps friends and family members reflect on their relationship with their loved ones. It can be challenging to know what to do when a loved one dies, especially if you are responsible for the funeral arrangements. The attorneys at Frame and Frame provide you with information to help make a difficult and overwhelming time less stressful.

Who to Contact

When a loved one dies, it is helpful to know who you should contact immediately. If your loved one was under the care of a hospice nurse, you would want to call them first. If they were not under hospice care, you should contact the police to declare their death. You may also want to call family members and close friends to alert them of the tragedy before making arrangements with the funeral home. Once you contact the funeral home, you will need to provide them with your loved one’s information to finalize the death certificate. At this time, you will also want to contact the cemetery to purchase a gravestone and inquire about additional costs. You will need to notify friends and family of the dates and times of the service.


There are several aspects to take into consideration to plan a funeral when a loved one dies. You may want to choose someone to officiate the service if the funeral home does not provide a clergy. You will also need to coordinate with a florist to supply flowers for the funeral. Many people also chose to hold a gathering after the service for friends and family members. In addition to these logistical considerations, there are also items you should prepare to bring to the funeral service. You will need to determine the clothes you want to dress your loved one in. You should include items they frequently wore, including jewelry or glasses. You may also want to bring personal items and photos to display throughout the funeral home. If your loved one lived alone, you would also need to remove any valuable or perishable items from their home.

Important Documents

Unfortunately, when a loved one dies, there are several important documents that you will need to be complete. If you are responsible for planning the funeral, you will more than likely be responsible for locating and completing the necessary paperwork. It would be best if you found their will and life insurance policy as quickly as you can. You will also need to obtain a copy of the death certificate from the funeral home. In the weeks following the service, there are several items you will need to do. You will need to file claims with your loved one’s life insurance company, alert the post office to forward their mail, obtain a copy of their credit report and bills, and square away all other medical or financial items.

Planning a funeral when a loved one dies can evoke many different emotions. Understanding the first steps you should take can help make the process less stressful than it already is. The funeral should serve as a way for family and friends to grieve together and remember their loved ones. The attorneys at Frame & Frame have been assisting members of our local community for over 65 years with these processes. We have created a free legal guide that provides an overview of the resources and materials we have found most helpful to assist you with the estate and probate processes in Maryland. Download the guide and learn how a Maryland probate attorney can make the probate process less time-consuming for you and/or the Executor of the estate. Contact Frame & Frame today if you need guidance on what to do when a loved one dies.