Reaching out at a difficult time

Sheila  Reilly


Sheila Reilly

Reaching out at a difficult time

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Managing at a difficult time

Whether a death is anticipated or unexpected, it is a very difficult time for those close to the deceased.

It is also a time when many decisions need to be taken, often very soon after the death, and this can cause considerable stress.

Our practical guide, below, gives you a quick step-by-step overview of the sorts of things you may need to deal with.

Not all of the points on this list will apply to your particular situation, but many will. If the deceased left specific instructions regarding preferences for funeral and burial arrangements, with a list of people to be notified, your job is that much easier. If not, you’ll need to consult other family members and look for address or phonebooks that can help you with your task.

First things first

Contact the next of kin, especially those abroad who may have to book flights.

If a doctor is not present, contact the doctor in order to obtain a death certificate. The doctor will decide if a coroner needs to be called. In the case of sudden or unusual death, do not move anything until an official pronouncement of death has been made by the doctor.

If the deceased held an organ donor card, inform the doctor of this immediately.

Locate the person’s burial instructions and last wishes, if these exist.

If the death occurs at home, you may also need to contact a member of the Garda Síochána.. They will decide if a coroner needs to be called.

Notify others of the death; close friends, relatives, neighbours, employer and work colleagues.

Others to notify in the days following the death include: state authorities e.g. if the deceased was in receipt of a pension or other form of social security payment or health service

Insurance agencies and financial institutions

The deceased’s solicitor

Most people in Ireland contact a funeral director for help with funeral arrangements.

If it was the deceased’s wishes to be buried, find out if a burial plot exists and determine its exact location. If you are using a local funeral director, they may help you with this.

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