What Happens when I Die?

Well, I’ll be dead, obviously, but what actually happens to my accounts, my family, and my body?

Most of you who regularly read my ramblings, will know that my mother passed away when I was 19. She had been battling stage four ovarian cancer since she was 40 and she passed away at 44.
Although those four years were incredibly difficult, it gave us lots of time to get things in order. She already had all the necessary cover but there were so many other things to sort out.

She had closed all her accounts. Cancelled her phone contract. She moved the monthly payments for her policies to my dad’s bank account. She even went as far to plan her own funeral. I remember sitting on the bed with her and the Pastor as they chose they hymns and discussed the costs and who to call when the time comes. It was a surreal experience and I was in awe of her strength.

The day came that she took her last breath. It was quiet and peaceful, as if she just dozed off into a deep sleep. The Pastor came to bless her and the coroner took her away. We would meet her a few days later at the service. There was little for us to do besides the paperwork to get her death certificate and notify all the insurers that held her policies. Everything else was taken care of. She was quite the planner.

Up until I had my son, I didn’t have any policies of my own. At the time, I knew that my partner would be able to afford the house on his own, and since we are not married, he is not responsible for any of my debts. Not that I had bad debt but things like my car wouldn’t be his problem.

It all changed when I had my son. I know my son will be taken care of by his amazing father, but I worry that one salary won’t be enough to survive on for the house, schooling and everything else. So naturally, I’ve gotten my affairs in order and made the necessary arrangements to ensure that they would both be financially comfortable, should I not be around.

But here’s what bothers me: What’s going to happen to me if I die?

I was living in South Africa when my mother passed so I was familiar with the process there, but what’s it like in the UK? Who does one even call when the time comes? 999?

I put my big girl pants on and read up about it. I found Sunlife’s website to be really helpful. They outline everything step by step. From who to call, where you will be taken to, and even how much a funeral is expected to cost. I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the process too if you don’t know what to expect.

I sat down with my partner to talk about it – he didn’t want to hear any of it but I soldiered on. It’s nice having some peace of mind knowing that my family knows what to do. I think it would make the whole ordeal a little less traumatic when they don’t need to wonder “what now?”.

We shouldn’t shy away from talking about the inevitable just because we find it too painful. Having to deal with the devastation of losing a loved one is difficult enough.

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