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How to Handle Affairs when a Loved One Passes in Hospice Care

When a loved one passes at the end of their hospice care, it can be difficult to determine next steps. You’re grieving, therefore it can seem difficult and stressful to handle the sensitive details. Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc. is here to help facilitate this process and our team works diligently to aid in this transitional period. As our team knows well, it is important to take everything one step at a time.

Your first step will be to contact us at Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc. Your hospice nurse can declare death and facilitate transportation of remains. We will also talk you through the next steps and help you coordinate what needs to be taken care of.

Here are some additional items you will need to consider:

  1. Contact friends and family members, and inform them of your loved one’s passing. You can delegate this task to others if needed.
  2. If your loved one was employed, contact their employer and notify them. Ask about any benefits received, a final paycheck, or life insurance. If your loved one was a member of any organizations, like a religious group or a veteran’s group, reach out to the applicable organizations and inform them of your loved one’s passing.
  3. If your loved one had a pet, make an immediate plan for this pet’s care. This can be as small as making sure they’re fed and taken care of until you can form a more permanent plan for them. Consider having a friend or loved one watch over the deceased’s home as well: collecting mail, watering plants, and answering the phone.
  4. Consider burial plans. If your loved one was receiving hospice care, this will likely have been coordinated beforehand. If not, look for documentation in the deceased’s home.
  5. Contact Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc.’s bereavement support group (click here to read more). This group is free and open to everyone, regardless of if your loved one received hospice services. It is important to take care of your emotional health and process your grief in a space where you can be fully supported and understood.

There are some other steps that are also important to consider, such as making an inventory of assets, closing bank accounts, and more. Click here to read AARP’s list of practical steps to take when a loved one dies. Rest assured that Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc. is well trained to help you every step of the way. Our concern and desire to help doesn’t stop when the patient passes away. We have a wealth of support groups that are operating remotely during the current health crisis, and our social workers assist all of our hospice families with support. You can reach our bereavement director at 845-561-6111.