When A Death Occurs
When a death occurs, the order in which things need to be done often depends on where the death of your loved one occurred. Provided here are recommendations as to the first steps to take. As always, we are only a call away if you have any questions or need assistance.
At Home or at Work
When a death occurs at home or in the workplace, a family member or co-worker should contact emergency personnel and the person's physician if he or she was under a doctor's care. If the death occurs at home with family or friends present and the person is under a physician's care, the family will want to call the funeral home directly.
However, if the death occurs in a residence and no one is there at the time of death, the police will need to be notified and respond to the residence before the deceased is removed from their home.
If in any case you are unsure of who to notify or what to do, please give us a call, and we'll assist you in notifying the proper agencies.
While Under Supervised Care
When a death occurs in a care facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, the professional staff will notify you and the necessary authorities. If the name of the selected funeral home has been left with them, the institution will notify the funeral home at the time of the death. The funeral director will contact you immediately following their notification to help you proceed. (However, we suggest you contact the funeral home immediately, so you have the reassurance that all is being taken care of properly.)
If a loved one was in the care of a hospice program, a hospice representative will give family members instructions and procedures to follow. The coroner/medical examiner will be notified by hospice. Following their release, hospice will contact the funeral home. It is always a good idea for the family to contact us immediately so that we will be aware of the pending call from hospice.
Widening the Circle
Our staff members are experienced professionals who can provide information, emotional support and compassionate guidance.
While you may ask the funeral director questions at this time, you will be able to discuss the arrangements in detail later when you meet in-person at the funeral home. During this initial call, the funeral director will gather information to be able to transport your loved one to the funeral home.
The director will schedule a time for you and desired family/friends to meet at the funeral home, will let you know what you should bring with you, and may ask if your loved one made any pre-arrangements. Others you will need to call are family members and friends, along with clergy or other spiritual advisors.
Those Important Questions
If there is no pre-plan in place, there are several other questions that you may have to have answered in regards to the death of your loved one:
- Would your loved one have preferred a traditional burial or cremation?
- What type of service should we have?
- What about cemetery arrangements?
- Preferred speakers, singers/musicians, pallbearers?
By contacting our staff, we'll be able to help answer any questions and assist in making the appropriate plans.
*One of the best ways to ensure your questions and desires are taken care of is to make pre-arrangements. This can be as simple as outlining your wishes or you can go a step further and prepay any financial arrangements. Please contact us to learn more about pre-arrangement.
What to Expect When You Arrive at the Funeral Home
One of the first things your funeral director will do is to provide you with our general price list. He or she will then guide you through the arrangement process, explaining how you can create a memorable personal celebration of your loved one's life. This is not a one-way conversation; we want to hear your ideas and desires and use them as the foundation for the arrangement process.
The arrangement process may include:
- Preparing and filing the official death certificate
- Scheduling the location, date and time of services or events
- Selecting a casket, urn or other items
- Preparing an obituary notice
- Selecting and contacting speakers, singers/musicians, and pallbearers
You may also sign necessary authorizations or make arrangements to have them signed by the appropriate family members.
We’d like you to bring any photos, a favorite song, or memorabilia so that we can better discuss how you would like your loved one to be remembered. Having these things and additional information such as their favorite hobby or gathering place will help us create a truly fitting memorial service. The funeral arranger will discuss personalization options with you during your arrangement conference.
What You Will Need to Bring with You to the Funeral Home
- Social Security Number, full legal name, and home address of the deceased
- Date of birth and birthplace of the deceased
- Life insurance policies
- Photos (optional): One picture for Obituary and 20-25 for a personalized video tribute
- Clothing (suit, shirt, tie, dress, gown, jeans, t-shirt, socks, hose, undergarments, etc. Shoes may be used, but are not required.)
- Veteran’s Discharge Papers for Flag Request (DD214)
- Highest education and occupation of the deceased
- Father’s name
- Mother’s maiden name
- Names of family (name and relationship) for obituary
- Clergy (names and phone numbers)
- Pallbearers (names and phone numbers, if needed)
- Preferred place of burial (if applicable)