Someone in my family or a close friend, has died. What am I supposed to do now?
A death is often sudden and unexpected. It can be overwhelming and difficult to come to terms with, and is often marked by grief and distress.. Although difficult to think about, you or someone you are close to need to attend to several practical matters related to the deceased. These are outlined below.
1. Determination of death
First of all, when someone passes away outside a hospital, it is important to call a doctor to formally record and declare that the person is dead. The death will be confirmed by the doctor who will issue a death certificate.
2. Choose a funeral director (undertaker)
Although it is not mandatory, it is best to contact a funeral director. In addition to make the necessary arrangements for the funeral at crematorium Daelhof, the funeral director will assist you with many practical issues, such as the declaration of death at the ‘population’ or ‘civil status’ department.
3. Make a declaration of death
You are allowed to make this declaration personally. As mentioned above, the death must be reported to the ‘civil status’ department of the municipality where the person passed away. A few documents are needed to complete the declaration: the death certificate and the identity card of the deceased. You should also bring a marriage certificate, driver’s license and the last pension payslip (if applicable) with you for the declaration.
4. Inform the authorities
You will need to inform different authorities about the death of your relative or close friend. When the deceased is formally reported, the ‘civil status’ department will issue documents that will allow you to inform the following authorities of the death of your relative:
- The bank
- The notary
- The health insurance fund security
- The Vehicle Registration Department (DIV)
- The deceased ‘s employer, if he/she was still working
- The insurance companies to which the deceased was affiliated to
Good to know: social media after a decease
Social media, we can no longer imagine our lives without them. But what we often don’t (want to) think of, is what should happen to our social media accounts when we have died. The unintentional continued presence of the deceased’ s digital legacy can be painful and disconcerting to those left behind.
There are different options for deleting social media accounts after a person’s death. Some social media can give the deceased person’s account or page a reminder status, other accounts can only be deleted.
Are you active on social media? In this case, one option would be to nominate a close friend to manage your account(s) in the event of your death, which makes removing social media accounts a lot easier after death.
Facebook and Instagram offer the possibility to convert an active profile into a memorial page when someone passes away. The memorial page is then used to remind the deceased but is no longer an active profile. To report a death to Facebook or Instagram, a specific notification page has been created. On this page you can register all data and send a file proving the death of your relative or friend. That could be the formal document delivered by the ‘civil status’ department.
LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest do not have the possibility for a commemorative status. Relatives are entitled, though, to close the profile of the deceased. Google (Google+, Gmail and YouTube) also offers this possibility, but apply stricter rules and (unfortunately) require more extensive proof of death.