Audrey's Letter

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Transcription of “A Quick Mini Check List – What to Do When a Loved One Dies”


Joe’s grandmother wrote this letter for her children six months before she passed.

 “The funeral director is very helpful in making the arrangements and will advise what steps should be taken. If possible, it would be advisable to make a few decisions BEFORE setting up an appointment. It would be wise to prepare the deceased’s clothing and to have a picture ready for when the director advises. (Using a combined family decision, maybe read my personal thoughts and wishes in a family group whenever you are ready, with or without the grandchildren)

 I. Decide:

  1. Number of receiving days/ date of funeral
  2. Casket – open vs. closed / concrete vault
  3. Pall Bearer – Family, Cousins, Friends, Funeral Home Bearers
  4. Limo for immediate family? (’91 price for 7 seat limo – $135)
  5. Flower/ Car (’91 price – $125). We had some of the flowers transported in hearse and family members carried the balance to save cost.
  6. Number of prayer cards (Nan’s: $25 for 100)
  7. Acknowledgement/ Thank You’s (Nan’s: $16 for 100)

 II. Banking:

Our SS checks and mom’s pension checks are deposited monthly in our checking account in Summit Federal Savings and Loan, Berkeley Street branch. IMPORTANT, see “Banking” folder for important details regarding checking as well as our savings account and IRA information folder.

III. Appointments:

  1. Be sure to cancel any appointments for the deceased as well as for family members (dentist, doctor, etc.)
  2. Make appointment with funeral home
    i. Be prepared to give answers in paragraph I
    ii. Bring:
    1. Cemetery Deed (in left side of blue folder)
    2. If advised, bring clothing, jewelry, rosary, deceased photo
    3. Obituary Information
    4. If possible, have checks ready for:
      1. Excavation of grave
      2. Little Flower organist – funeral home will distribute checks
      3. Funeral fees – now or later
  3. Request 6 ( ? ) death certificates:
    i. Bank
    ii. Kemper (Mom's Life Insurance)
    iii. Medical and prescriptions
    iv. Transfer on Mom's pension checks with Dad, should I pre-decease him
    v. If necessary, probate will
    vi. If Dad pre-deceases Mom, I'll need certificate to collect his SS benefits
  4. Select Casket/Request Concrete Vault

IV. Florist

We went directly over to Berkeley Florist right after funeral date was set. Suggestions for floral arrangements are on page _ of my “detailed instruction sheet” Bring check to save another stop later.

IV. Phone Calls

Once dates are set with the funeral director, start with phone call list – see my listing (be sure life insurance is called early enough to get the ball rolling regarding the following):
  1. Decedent’s life insurance
  2. Retirement checks switches to a new checking account

Change over for decedent’s partner’s name on prescription benefits (if necessary)


IV. Meals

  1. Possibly order pizza, calzones, whatever for family’s dinner the evening before the funeral
  2. On the day of the funeral, whether it be sandwiches ordered, coffee, cake or a sit down meal at a restaurant, get busy with making arrangements once a decision is made

IV. Tie up Loose Ends

Tie up any loose ends regarding banking and changing names on accounts. Be sure to decide co-depositor, etc. early on

  1. When convenient, be sure household bills get paid.
  2. Order a headstone if planning to bury the deceased.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment: (833) NH-TRUST, (833) 648-7878