That's a tough loss to go through. Are you in North America? Since you are his next of kin, in most states or provinces, you should be able to have access to his record of death. Contact the vital statistics office where he died to find out what you need to send them to do this (usually a fee, and something proving kinship, like your birth certificate). From that record, you can usually find out if he was buried or cremated. Often, it will provide information on the funeral home or cemetery which handled the final arrangements.
As for his personal effects, you should contact the courthouse where he lived to inquire about his estate papers/probate. With the record of death and proof of kinship, you shouldn't have a difficult time accessing these.