The Most Common Household Issues After a Death

There are a number of common household issues that may need to be taken care of after a death. These tasks generally depend on where the person was living at the time of death.

If the person who died was living in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospice facility

If the person who died was living in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospice facility, you may need to take steps to remove personal property from the place immediately. Many care facilities have rules about how much time you have to remove personal property, and some require that personal effects be removed within 24 hours. If you are considered to be occupying the place for additional time, you may be charged for that time. Since insurance will stop paying for the residence immediately after the death, these charges can be substantial, so it’s a good idea to pack up the residence as soon as you can.

If the person who died was living at home

If the person who died was living at home there may be some immediate household chores that need to be handled, such as:

  • Arranging care for any pets
  • Cleaning out the refrigerator and any other perishables from the home, if the home will be vacant
  • Putting a stop to any ongoing or household deliveries
  • Putting a hold on mail, or redirecting mail to someone else

If the home is in an unsanitary condition

If the person who died was unattended for an extended period of time, or if the death resulted in the presence of blood or bodily fluids in the home, a licensed biohazard cleaner may be brought in to clean the home. The cleaner will properly and hygienically disinfect the home and remove any odors that may be present. To find a licensed biohazard cleaner, use our resource Guide: Finding a Home Cleaning Service.

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