One of the things I found afterwards, and going through the check list was making sure names are on everything, vehicle titles, trailer titles, (Jon had a couple of them for his work and I didn't know there were titles for them) Utilities, checking/saving accounts, Had to change my beneficiary for my accounts, tax bills and such. Also like at my doctor and dentist I had to change the "who to call in an emergency".
The old posts really contain a lot of good advice.
For me one of the most valuable things is to hold on making any major changes/decisions in the first 6 months to a year. Also do not rush to get rid of your PALS clothes and things (except perhaps for all the medical stuff, which I got rid off only days after).
I wish I could tell you something that would help with the emotional aspects of what is to come, but nothing prepares you for that and it is something each of us surviving CALS has to live and work through.
Oh, one thing I found surprising after my PALS died was that I started receiving calls from financial companies that sort of try to trick you into thinking you need their services when someone dies. I even got calls from real estate agents. They retrieve this information from public records and it was very upsetting. So watch out for vultures.
Soonerwife....the first thing you need to take care of afterward is yourself. Hard to do, I know, as you get so used to pouring yourself into your PALS for so long. Just remember to take care of yourself. I'm trying very hard to take my own advice.
Manhattenite gives good advice. When I worked at VA, I found that a lot of vultures read the obits, get the SSN from the list of deceased SSNs, and grab the credit records. Then they try to get you to pay them for old debts you r loved one may have owed to a bank.
"I beg you messier, be on guard. This place is full of vultures, vultures everywhere, everywhere."--The Dark European in Casablanca, as he picks the gentleman's pocket.
Oh ugh, those vultures! I'm so glad that never happened here!
I would say that when to get rid of personal items of your PALS is something you can do in your own time - fast or slow is very personal.
I was so grateful that my two daughters were here sometime in that week after Chris passed and they offered to clean out his wardrobe and take all the medications back to the pharmacy for safe disposal etc. That was wonderful for me as it may have taken me months to be able to face his clothing and I felt a weight lifted. However, saying that, this would not be a good solution for everyone as I've seen people have bedcovers and even stuffed toys made from old clothes which may be something wonderful to have done when ready.
It's really good to have a list ready of all the things that you will need to take care of - I remember my funeral home actually provided me with a comprehensive one. That way you can do the things you must, which is the opening question here, and take your time to do the rest.
I feel that after the death is the time a CALS is wise to begin exercising the "I need" muscles again as we have usually let them fall into disrepair.
My situation was different, but it really helps if you have a friend or a relative that can listen and maybe offer a little guidance while you are having to settle things. I thought I was totally in my right mind ,but in hindsight, there was a lot of shell shock and emotion going on. Luckily I didn't make any mistakes but it was nice to have family help me think things through.