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Protecting Your Deceased Loved One From The Risk of Identity Theft

The grief of losing a loved one is a very tumultuous and heartbreaking experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, in the world that we live in, some people disregard this pain entirely and are willing to capitalize on the identity of the deceased. Frequently, individuals engage in such behaviour because they are trying to escape past convictions or outstanding debts. Even after your loved one dies, it is imperative to keep his or her identity safe to avoid the possibility of identity theft. Here are a few steps you can take to secure the identity of your loved one:

Never Disclose Sensitive Information

Thieves can be very crafty in how they conduct their crime and often use publicly known information from social media accounts to gain access to private knowledge. Contact the social media platforms and inform them that a user on their platform has passed away, and that should effectively lock their account or remove it.

Advise Financial Organizations / Government Organizations

The chances are that your loved one has ties with multiple corporations involving financial interactions, which can include banks, credit unions, insurance companies or investment companies, and they all must be notified about the passing of your loved one. Begin with giving them a phone call and make sure you send them proof of death. Ensure that you are keeping documentation about which organizations you’ve reached out to, the date on which you contacted them, and the representative with whom you were in contact. Other relevant documents such as drivers licenses, passports, or social insurance numbers should be handled with extreme caution. Inform government institutions about the death of your relative, and they should effectively make all existing documents null and void.

Routinely Check On Your Loved One’s Credit/ Bank Statements.

Often, identity theft of a deceased person can go unnoticed because there is nobody routinely checking his or her banking and credit statements. This form of theft, often referred to as “ghosting,” can occur for a year or longer before any indication of robbery has taken place. Therefore, it is imperative to check these statements for months after your loved one has passed, and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Stealing the identity of a dead person is a lucrative idea for thieves because they predict that not everyone has taken the necessary precaution to protect their identity from future attacks. When a loved one passes away, family members will try their best to secure all critical certificates and documents from falling into the wrong hands, but cannot guarantee that security. It is important to concern yourself with the protection of yourand your family's private information immediately to save you from dealing with this heinous crime.

5 Steps to Being an Executor for a Will

When a death happens in the family, it can be an especially stressful time. However, an executor can make the process easier by carrying out the final instructions in the will left by your loved one. If you’re the executor of a will, you’ve been left with a lot of responsibility. Here are the five steps to be an executor.

Retrieve the Will
As executor, your responsibility is to ensure that the deceased loved one’s final wishes are arranged. It’s important that nothing is assumed, and that every decision is made from the will itself. In most cases, the will-maker will either keep their will at home in a safety deposit box or perhaps with the lawyer who drafted said will.

Once you retrieve the will you will be able to find information such as whether you need to probate the will and what instructions there are for organ donation, burial and funeral arrangements. These instructions will make the process much easier.

Protecting Assets
It’s important that you keep all assets safe and properly insured. This can include a wide variety of items such as jewellery, cash and more. It is also your responsibility to ensure that the deceased one’s home is locked up and supervised as there will be no one living in it.

A good idea is to call the deceased’s banks and cancel any credit cards right away. It may also be a good idea to forward the deceased’s mail to somewhere where you can easily access it in order to ensure that nothing gets missed.

Arrange the Funeral
As the executor, it is your responsibility to arrange the funeral plans as well as pay the funeral expenses. It’s important to know that there will be many decisions that need to be made in a short time, such as whether the deceased will be buried or cremated. If the deceased has pre planned their funeral, much of the stress will be alleviated.

Deal with Debts
When you are the executor, many of the debts will be transferred to your name. As the executor, you will have access to the deceased’s funds and can pay off the expenses. It’s important that this is dealt with in a timely manner, as those debts are now in your name. It’s also important that you make sure that you know of all debts that will be transferred to your name, as surprise debt may add more financial stress.

Distribute the Estate
Lastly, distribute the estate. Once all debts have been settled and the funeral has taken place, it is now time to distribute the estate. It’s important to note that there may be factors at play that prevent you from distributing the estate right away, and it is also important to note that the will can be challenged by the deceased’s spouse or children.

When distributing the estate, the assets will first make their way to you and then it is your responsibility to distribute those assets to the beneficiary. If there is anything else remaining after you distribute the gifts, divide what remains as the will states. Often the will states that the items should be divided equally to the deceased one’s children, for example.

Being an executor means that you will have responsibility for the deceased’s possessions. While this may feel overwhelming, remember that you are the executor because you are highly regarded as responsible, and that people have faith in you to manage this difficult task. If you find the task too difficult to manage alone, there is professional assistance that can help you through the process.

How to Cope with Overwhelming Sense of Grief

Losing a loved one is possibly the hardest thing you’ll ever go through in your life. Unfortunately, there are no guides or checklists designed to help you process your emotions and eventually manage your grief. A recently deceased friend or relative can induce sensations of hopelessness, sadness or anger - which can make it hard to feel okay mentally and physically. Understanding how to cope with the loss of a loved one is paramount to your own well-being and in this article, we will cover a few ways in which you can promote healing:

 Confide in Friends and Family

 Love & consolation are two key ingredients in helping to restore some balance and stability back into your life. Understandably, you’re going to be incredibly emotional throughout the grieving process, but, it’s critical to remember that you could help another person close to the situation in their grieving. Shower your friends and family with attention, if you feel the need to speak openly about your feelings then we highly recommend you doing so. Just being around and receiving love & affection from the people who mean the most to you will help you find solace somewhere down the line.

Acknowledge Your Grief and Learn to Accept It

When you feel sad and upset, it’s natural to fight those feelings of discomfort and try to force yourself into feeling better. As hard as it sounds at first, learning to acknowledge how you’re feeling and understanding that it is a completely natural is the first step in healing. If you’ve never dealt with loss in your life, it may seem unusual to be harbouring such deep-seated emotions such as anger, denial, and depression, but being able to face it without fear and seek out help if needed will do a lot for your physical and mental wellbeing. Never forget to take good care of your health in moments like these; eat healthy foods, workout, read, laugh and if you need extra support, seek professional mental or physical health care.

Locate A Support Group

Grieving the loss of a loved one can feel especially lonesome if you have nobody that is going through the same thing you are. In some cases, whether your miles away from your friends and family or you’re an only child who has lost a parent, you may not have anybody that can console you in your feelings of despair. Support groups provide a substantial source of comfort for individuals dealing with grief and flurries of emotion. Support groups allow people to connect with other individuals going through similar situations, and they may be the best people to speak to as they understand, now, how heavy the burden of loss truly is.

 There is no secret formula in accepting and coping with grief, mostly everyone will have to go through it at some point in their lives, but how they attain happiness & comfort again is a personal journey.

How to Manage Grief Over the Holiday Season

Losing someone who you love dearly is never an easy process as memories begin to flood your senses, and different emotions settle in. In grief, every occasion grows heavy on the hearts and minds of those that survived the deceased. Things can become especially difficult around the holiday season when everyone is sharing time with the people, they love the most. For many families, the holidays are a chance to catch up on lost time, an opportunity to showcase the love for one another by exchanging thoughtful gifts, as well as a symbol for a fresh start. If you or someone you know is dealing with grief over the holidays, here are some things to help cope:

Speak to A Close Friend or Family Member

 Keeping your silence in trying times is more of a personal decision, and many times, people will remain quiet when it comes to their feelings & emotions to reinforce their strength. Silence is especially pertinent, with individuals trying to remain strong for others. It can be considerably challenging to maintain your composure over the holiday season when nostalgia and memories are so easily accessible. Talking to people close to the situation is important for your physical and mental health over the holidays. Additionally, you may even want to talk to someone removed from the situation for a fresh outlook and a unique perspective.

 Spend Time with Your Family

The holidays are all about togetherness, and in moments of sadness and sorrow, it is particularly important for you. We don’t expect you to move on from your emotions immediately; in fact, it’s a timely process with everyone requiring a different set of recovery time. However, it’s important to put yourself in environments that may push you outside of your comfort zone, albeit these scenarios can be intimidating in such a fragile time in your life, it’s an excellent way to get your mind off negative emotions. If you’ve stopped working out with your gym partner in the wake of your loved one’s passing do you what you can to get back to it; if you’ve cancelled band practice, pick up your instrument and express your feelings through music with your bandmates. 

Wrap and Give Gifts

 Keeping your deceased loved one in your memories is important as the holidays carry on. One great way for you to honour your friend or family member is to purchase and wrap gifts that they would have loved. Whether you plan on gifting them to friends or family is your choice. However, a great initiative to take is to present these gifts to a charity/cause that meant a lot to your loved one. It would be a great way, not just to keep their soul & spirit alive, but to touch the hearts and minds of other people! The feeling of gratification can do wonders for a sensitized and tired mind. 

3 Creative Way to Honour a Deceased Loved One

There are no instruction manuals designed to help you cope with the death of a loved one. Therefore, it can be tricky to find ways to feel good and happy during times like these. Grief is a natural biological reaction to the death of a loved one; however, each process it uniquely. One therapeutic method that can assist during the grieving stage is finding a way to honour the deceased, which is commonly done through creative projects. If you’re looking for innovative methods to honour the life of a deceased loved, here are a few suggestions.

 Celebrate Their Life with Cheers

 It can seem strange to fast forward through the grief and pain of losing a loved one, but there’s a pretty good chance they would have wanted you to enjoy their life, not mourn. We can’t stop ourselves from feeling the emotions of sadness and dismay, but you can choose the attitude you want to convey moving forward. A great to honour the life of a loved one is to make their memorial service a jovial and entertaining experience. For example, if your loved one was a big fan of caesars than consider serving them at the memorial service. Another example, if your loved one was into superhero movies, make it the theme of the service by displaying their favourite movie or asking friends to wear superhero attire. There are many ways to keep spirits up at a memorial service!

Plant A Reminder of Life

 Although they may no longer be with us, their spirit will always exist in your heart and mind. Carry that energy out into your backyard and seed their spirit into fresh soil to create a tree or shrubbery that celebrates and honours their life. It is a special thing to do for a loved one that’s passed because it helps to know that a part of them is always there with you. There may be times where you feel besides yourself, and you can’t stop thinking about the things you never got the chance to say to your loved one. In moments like these, taking a walk outside to sit under the tree that was dedicated to your loved one can make you feel like they’re right there with you- like they never left.

 Contribute to A Cause They Strongly Believed In

 Expressions of humanity are a great and effective way to carry on your loved one’s legacy whether they were a significant player in community efforts (i.e. raising funds for charitable institutions0 or they believed strongly in other caused like animal rights or homeless shelters, find a way to carry on their

message and their voice if you’re unsure of how to donate your money, be sure to ask their closest friends and family for advice.

Whether you celebrate their life with cheers at their memorial service, plant a reminder of their life, or contribute to a cause they strongly believed in, finding a way to honour them is important

Tips for Writing A Eulogy

Penning a eulogy for a loved one, whether it be a family member, or a close friend can be an emotional and strenuous process. Not only are you already dealing with the flood of different feelings, including sadness and anger, but now you are tasked with writing a heartfelt tribute to a dear friend or a beloved relative. This should be a moment of reflection and consideration, not one of overbearing stress & anxiety. So how do you start and what should you talk about? Here are some tips and tricks to help you write an honourable tribute for your loved one.

 What Is A Eulogy?

 A eulogy is commonly referred to in the funeral industry as a ‘remembrance.’ It is typically a short-form speech that consists of information regarding the deceased’s character, their life and their achievements and accomplishments. It relays the importance of the deceased’s life and how impactful their presence played in the lives of their coworkers, their family and their friends. Under certain circumstances, a eulogy may last longer than 30 minutes, but they are traditionally no longer than 20 minutes.

 Who Will Present the Eulogy?

If you were recruited to write a eulogy for a dear friend or a beloved relative, it should be considered an amazing compliment to how important you were in the deceased’s life. However, not everyone is emotionally prepared or comfortable enough to speak in public, let alone in front of a mourning crowd of people. Therefore, you can always ask a spiritual leader (i.e. priest, rabbi, clergyperson, etc.) or a funeral home director to read the eulogy respectfully.

 What Should Be in The Eulogy?

 As previously mentioned, the eulogy should be full of memories and stories that the family and friends of the deceased would find endearing or heartwarming. If the deceased person was charitable, the tone of the speech should be focused around their charitable life. If the deceased person was a humourous individual, the tone of the speech should be built around their sense of humour. Be sure to make mention of the people who meant the most to the deceased and ensure their personas are invoked.

 Additional Tips for Eulogists

  •  Look at old photographs between you and the deceased for further inspiration.
  • Encourage the deceased’s family and friends to share their favourite memories and stories
  • Write a couple of rough drafts before publishing your final copy
  • Write it a few days in advance which will allow you to add to it if newer or better memories enter your head
  • Seek a second opinion on the finished edition of your eulogy to see how you can improve it
  • If you decide to present it, be sure that you speak loudly for everyone in the funeral home to hear it.

 For other funeral information blogs, click here.

How to Comfort Someone Going Through A Loss

Something we’ve all likely had to go through at some point or another in our lives is comforting someone who has lost a friend or family member. While we have the best intentions, sometimes our comfort can come off as awkward or insincere due to being uncomfortable with the situation and not knowing what steps to take. That’s why today, we want to help you with preparation on how to comfort someone who is going through a loss.

Use Appropriate Timing

One of the most important things to remember when comforting a friend or family member who has lost a loved one is to make sure you’re choosing an appropriate time to talk. There may be times when that person is particularly upset and wants to be left alone. 

It’s always best to ask, “Is this a good time to talk?” By doing so, you can ensure that your timing is appropriate. Most importantly, if they respond with, “Now is not a great time.” then respect their wishes. Don’t pressure them if the timing is not appropriate. 

 Understand That There Is No “Right” Way to Grieve

 One common mistake people make when comforting someone who is going through a loss is they project their grieving methods on to them. However, this can ultimately do more than good. When you tell someone, “It’s okay to cry.” you’re telling them how to grieve; however, the person grieving may have their ways of grieving, including humour, staying busy or even just silence. 

 If you’re comforting someone who is grieving, accept their grieving methods and let them know that you’re there for them. If their grieving methods involve distracting themselves (for example, spending more time gardening), offer to lend a helping hand. By them knowing you’re there if they need you, you’re already comforting them. 

 Avoid Touchy Subjects

 Going through a loss can leave someone emotionally vulnerable, and it’s important to avoid anything that may trigger overwhelming emotions. For example, if someone just lost their husband, it may be best not to bring up overly emotional memories such as their wedding until they bring it up. Otherwise, their emotions may be overwhelmed. You must know the person who you’re comforting; know what may trigger overwhelming emotions and avoid those touchy subjects. 

 Going through the loss of a friend or family member is a tough time for anyone, and they must know they have emotional support. By following this advice, you will be able to be there for your friend or family member during their time of need. 

Helping a Young Person Understand Death

The death of a loved one is a heart-wrenching and emotional experience, but it can be particularly difficult for a young child that has never dealt with a similar situation in their life. While adults have a better understanding that death is a natural part of life, cognizance may not yet be developed for children. Death can be especially difficult for children when they’ve lost someone in their age groups, such as a friend or a classmate. If your child is dealing with loss, here are a few things you can do to help them understand the situation more clearly.

 Be Concise with Them

 Sometimes, the truth can be harmful to their overall well-being when beating around the bush to avoid telling your son or daughter. When discussing the death of a loved one with your child, be straightforward and honest with them. For example, if your child has lost a grandparent, it’s best to be upfront and say something along the lines of “ Take a seat, I have something very important to tell you… your grandfather passed away today.” Don’t overload them with words; let them digest the truth and be there to answer questions they may have.

 Be There for Them

 As previously mentioned, children may not have a clear understanding of death until it affects them personally. Even if you educate your child about death, they might not know how to feel or what to say until they experience a personal loss. It’s not uncommon to see changes in their attitude and personality following the death of a loved one, so it’s important to monitor their behaviour closely. Stay with your child, be there for them, and offer them the human support they require during these unfortunate times. 

 Keep the Deceased in Their Memories

 Losing a loved one can be a life-changing moment - a memory that sticks out in your child’s mind for the rest of their life. You want your child to look back on life, and the legacy of their deceased loved one with reverence and appreciation. Encourage your child to seek creative ways to honour their loved one. For example, encourage your child to compile a scrapbook with the pictures of the deceased or plant a tree of life in their honour. These creative outlets will allow them to feel like they’re still a part of the deceased’s life, even after the services come to an end.

 We know how tough it is to lose a person that you thought was going to be around forever; it’s an overwhelming and emotional process. Consider whatever your feeling may be magnified in the body and mind of a young person. It’s so important to be mindful of their physical and mental well-being during these times.

Why Funerals Are Necessary

Why Funerals Are Necessary

 Funerals have existed, in some form or fashion, since the beginning of man, and they serve as an opportunity for people to recognize the impact that a deceased friend or family member made throughout their lifetime. Working in the funeral industry, kids will sometimes ask us, "what's the purpose of a funeral if the deceased won't be able to see any of it?" Well, it's a valid question and one we wanted to dive into a little deeper. The following article will provide you with three important reasons why funeral services are necessary. 

 Rite of Passage

 Funerals are cultural and symbolic ceremonies performed by every civilization on Earth. Funerals serve as an opportunity for us to heal harmoniously with our friends and family. Still, it is also a teaching moment, especially for young people unfamiliar with the concept of death. Introducing young kids to a situation like this presents them with an experience that will give them a greater perspective on how one person can make a significant impact.

 Family Time

 Losing a loved one is a stark reminder that no life lasts forever. It also teaches us that it's so important to cherish the time we have with our friends and family. Funerals allow friends and family members to join and reminisce about the times they shared with the deceased - this is especially important for family members that have lost contact with each other throughout the years. Funerals give grieving family members a chance to build a support system with other people who feel the same way about the untimely passing.

 Healing and Saying Your Farewell

 This is not to say that once you attend a funeral, you'll feel immediately better. The healing process may take a long time, but funerals give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the reality of the situation. They can even provide you with solace after you see everyone who has turned out to show their love and respect for your deceased loved one. 

 You can say goodbye at a funeral service. Whether you need to say one last goodbye to the open casket or would feel a lot better, offering a eulogy at your loved one's service, everyone expresses their goodbyes in different ways. Many people need a funeral to say goodbye, knowing that their loved one was laid to rest respectfully and with dignity. 

 There are many reasons why having a funeral for your deceased loved one is important. For any questions regarding funeral services, please contact our office today. We'll be happy to accommodate any special requests that you may have. 

How to Care for A Mourning Child

Losing someone you love is unbearably difficult, regardless of your age. When you lose a loved one, you go through your own personal journey to find inner peace. This can be accomplished in many ways; however, for a child, navigating the mourning process can be scary, confusing and overwhelming. It’s important for you to pay close attention to the youngest members of your family after a loved one passes - the following article will discuss a few ways to care for a mourning child.

 Be Honest with Them

 It’s natural to want to protect your child’s emotions during these trying times, but you need to be honest with them and tell them the truth. Some children aren’t aware of what death means and how it affects them; they may even be more inquisitive than sad or afraid. Refrain from using common colloquialisms like “she’s in a better place” or “she went to sleep,” your child may not understand your symbolism which can lead to greater confusion for them. Tell them the truth about death if they’re old enough, and don’t be afraid to give them details if they ask.

 Encourage Their Feelings

 Children will react to death differently, depending on how old they are. Very young children may not understand the permanence of death and therefore, may not react to death sympathetically. Children from ages 5-8 tend to grasp death more clearly but still may not know how to react in the event of a loved one’s passing. 

 In any case, it’s important to encourage your child to express themselves; however, they see fit. The death of a loved one may extremely shake some children, and other children may be more inquisitive about the concept of death. If your child is experiencing sadness and loneliness following the death of a loved one, encourage them to express themselves through a creative outlet like scrapbooking, drawing, writing, singing, or dancing.

 Focus on Yourself- You Are Your Child’s Role Model

 Your mental health is equally as important as your child’s during these trying times. If you’re experiencing mental fatigue or stress, you should focus on your wellbeing and seek professional assistance if your state worsens. 

Whether you know it or not, your child looks up to you and will emulate your actions. If you’re going through a hard time, your child will pick up on that, and they may start to feel the same way. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your child. Demonstrating a will to repair and recover following the death of a loved one will instill confidence and reassurance in your child.