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The death of a loved one affects us on so many levels; emotionally, financially and spiritually. While all of us understand that a death in the family is a certain event we will all have to deal with at some stage, many of us avoid thinking about it, never mind planning for it. We might be afraid of the unknown, or hope it never happens to us. Most people are simply overwhelmed by the practicalities involved in arranging a funeral. It is daunting at the best of times.

It is important to understand that there is help. There are many funeral plans available to make the financial planning easier, as well as useful tips to guide you in planning ahead. According to industry experts, these are the first official steps one has to take when someone passes away:

  • Get a Death Certificate. Death reports can only be issued by Department of Home Affairs, Traditional leaders, members of the SAPS and authorised undertakers. The Department of Home Affairs will issue a Death Certificate on receipt of the notification of death (Form BI-1663) and the Death Report (Form BI-1680). See: Without the Death Certificate, you will not be able to administer the Will or register the death.
  • Locate the deceased’s ID smartcard or green barcoded ID book. Without it, making funeral arrangements and administering the estate will be very difficult, if not impossible.
  • Determine whether the deceased had any funeral or life policies. This might make money available quickly, so you can plan the funeral without financial worry.

It is also advised that each person keeps a file of their policies, copies of ID documents and a Will to help their loved ones with the difficult process of bereavement.

Clientèle Funeral Guide: An easy-to-read practical guide on how to plan a funeral, with helpful tips, telephone numbers and a checklist.

This article and its content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice.