My grandmother died this morning. I'm going home to help out the family, but I would like to make a list of things I might not remember before I leave so that we don't forget anything.
This is the third death in my family since March, and unfortunately, my dad and aunt are overwhelmed right now so I've offered to take some time off to go home and help.
Dad is dealing with my baby sister's wedding at the beginning of next month and my aunt has health and family issues of her own, so I have been asked to go home and help pack up and disseminate things like clothing, shoes, purses, etc. while my aunt figures out what to do with furniture and financial assets. I'm the only one in the family without small children who lives nearby that can help out, I'm just inexperienced with things like this and want to make sure I cover as much as I can while I'm there.
We have to prepare the home for sale now that both grandparents have died. I wanted to make a checklist before I went of things to do, like:
1. Call all her doctors, dentist, hairdresser and nail person and cancel upcoming appointments.
2. Get copies of the death certificate and mail to all utilities with a written request to terminate services.
3. Take plants/flowers left over from the funeral and donate them to the local hospitals and hospices (I can do this, right?).
4. Should I shred things like paid bills, unused checks, deposit slips, that sort of thing? I have a small shredder I can take with me.
5. How do I cancel her mail if she's deceased? Should I put in a forwarding address to my dad or aunt's address and let one of them deal with cards or random mail that trickles in after the bills are taken care of?
6. The house is already in my aunt's name, so putting the house up for sale should not be a problem, nor should the taxes, etc. is there anything I might not know about regarding that which I could pass on to my aunt (i.e., you've sold a home after a death and something was different/odd about it vs. a regular home sale)?
7. Photos. I've been tasked with taking hundreds of older photos and creating a digital archive so that family members can access, save and print copies if they so choose. Any suggestions on software? Paid services that would make this easier than me scanning them in myself? Picasa vs. Flickr? Etc.
8. Online memorial page. My grandfather has one through the WWII memorial service; can I create one for her online, too? It would be nice to have a URL I can point people to that cannot attend the service this weekend and where I could post photos and information about her. Does such a site/service exist? Have you used it, and did you like it?
Any suggestions from those of you who have had to box up and dissolve another person's life, thank you in advance. I've read old threads like this
and they were helpful, I'm trying to think of the post-memorial service stuff that people assume others are taking care of so I can take care of it myself this time.
I'm sure my grandmother had a will; I'm not worried about legal stuff, dividing assets, that sort of thing. I'm thinking of the more banal stuff that you don't realize you need to do after you've planned the service and had the funeral. Thanks, everyone.