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Taking Care of Property Issues Post-Death

Jul 8, 2020

No matter where your loved one passed away, it is important to think through what may need immediate attention.

If the decedent died while living at home:

If the decedent passed away at their home, a number or things may need immediate attention including:

  • Caring for pets
  • Taking out the trash
  • Cleaning out the refrigerator
  • Cleaning dishes and removing from the dishwasher
  • Removing any clothing from the washer or dryer
  • Continuing security system
  • Locking doors and windows
  • Hold and/or forward all mail
  • Turning off all lights and setting air to a specific temperature (for example, set minimal heat so pipes don’t freeze).
  • Securing belongings and valuables 
  • Securing All necessary documents (driver’s license, social security card, medicare card, etc.)
  • Stop home deliveries and home delivery subscription services (ex. meal deliveries)

Sometimes, if the decedent passed away at home there may be blood and bodily fluids present. In some cases, if the decedent was not discovered for a long period of time, the decedent’s family should hire a licensed biohazard cleaner to clean the property. The cleaner will have the proper equipment and safety protocols to properly clean and leave the decedent’s residence free of biohazards. The cleaner will disinfect and remove any odors.


If the decedent passed away in a nursing home, hospital, hospice, or assisted living facility:

If the decedent passed away while living in a nursing home, hospice, hospital, or assisted living, the decedent’s loved ones will need to arrange for the immediate removal of the decedent’s personal property. Commonly, many of the facilities mentioned above will require a decedent’s personal property to be removed within 24 hours of passing or the decedent’s loved ones may be charged for the additional time used to occupy the facility space.

Immediately following the decedent’s death, the decedent’s insurance will cease and stop paying. Therefore, any charges for extra days will be charged to the decedent’s family and the charges may be high.

Always make sure to check all drawers, common areas, restrooms, and facility storage or safes for your loved one’s belongings.

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