When Death Occurs

No matter if a death is sudden or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed. No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

If the person was not under hospice care, the police will have to be notified immediately. The police will be dispatched to the home and place the call to the coroner/medical examiner. From there the coroner/medical examiner will take the body and determine whether further action is necessary. The coroner/medical examiner must release the body before further steps can be taken. If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members of the proper procedures to follow.

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. If contact information for a funeral director has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death. If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about your loved one's wishes and set up a time to meet and make arrangements. Alternatively, if you are not present, a funeral director will contact you by telephone to arrange a meeting.

Informing a Funeral Director

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a licensed funeral director. Our funeral directors are here to guide you through the process of finalizing or, in the event pre-planning was not done, making final arrangements for your loved one. Our staff is here to help and we will make every effort to reduce the stress associated with losing a loved one.

Making Arrangements

During the first meeting, our staff will gather information required to complete the necessary legal paperwork.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address
  • Marital Status
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Date and City of Birth
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Occupation and Employer

The following documents will also be required, if applicable:

  • Account Statements
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Real Estate Deeds
  • Car and Boat Deeds
  • Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  • Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Loans and Leases
  • Copies of Bills (Cable, Phone etc.)
  • Last Will
  • Tax Returns

If pre-planning has not been done, our staff will also guide you through making final arrangements for your loved one. This will include:

  • Scheduling the location, date, and time for selected services
  • Choosing merchandise
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

Our compassionate staff  would be honored to assist you in arranging services that respect both your budget and your preferences.

Have a question? Ask our team.