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Here are some of the items that may affect probate procedures in settling the estate of the deceased:
Will, letter of instruction, or estate record
Real estate holdings
Checking and savings accounts
Securities Safe deposit boxes
Business assets and other holdings
Federal estate tax, inheritance tax, and personal income tax
During The Funeral Services
Although funeral ceremonies are designed to honor the life of the deceased, they are also a means of helping survivors begin to deal with the reality of the loss. During the days and events which constitute the formal funeral services, you may want to consider the following suggestions:
Share your feelings and memories with family and friends.
Include children in the funeral services.
Be patient, and take things slowly.
Allow extra time to get ready for each event.
Get as much rest as possible.
Try to eat balanced meals.
Select helpful reading material. Your funeral director can suggest several good booklets.
Etiquette of Acknowledgments
The following suggestions are provided to help you in acknowledging those who participated in the funeral and expressed their sympathy. Within two weeks of the funeral . . .
Send a personal note thanking the clergy for spiritual help.
If a gratuity is offered, it may be included with the note.
Send a note of thanks to casket bearers and friends who volunteered services, sent flowers, made offerings, contributed memorials, gave money, or provided food.
Reply to letters with a brief note. Sympathy cards do not require a reply. Use your best judgement for situations not listed above. In general, an acknowledgement card with a few personal words added is sufficient to express your gratitude.
After The Funeral
The process of grieving and adjusting to life without the deceased does not end when the ceremonies are concluded. The days and weeks ahead will bring new challenges and adjustments. Here are some of the things you will want to consider as you move on with your own life:
Inquire about available bereavement services and support groups. Your funeral director can assist you with this.
Make necessary changes to bank, charge, investment, and mortgage accounts.
Update insurance policies.
Update personal property and motor vehicle records.
Update your will.
Consider pre-arranging and pre-funding your funeral.
Be alert to people who may try to defraud you during your recovery period.
Postpone making important decisions for at least a year if possible.
Understand that life is a series of changes, and you are going through one of the most difficult. Give yourself the time and opportunity to express your grief and move toward recovery.