No matter if a death is sudden, or if it is 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 your loved one was not under hospice care, the police must 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 your loved one into their care and determine whether further action is necessary. The coroner/medical examiner must give verbal authorization to our funeral home before we can take your loved one into our care. If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are 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 a funeral home 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 the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the funeral home to make arrangements, however, if you are not present a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements.
Informing the Funeral Home
Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to the funeral home. Working with the proper authorities or administration’s at facilities, the funeral home will make sure to take your loved one into their care as soon as possible. If the death occurs in a facility, the death certificate must be completed by a doctor before the funeral home can take your loved one into their care.
During your first contact with the funeral home, we will ask you to set a time to come in to complete the funeral arrangements. While a funeral home is a business, we will do our best to accommodate your schedule. Generally, the funeral arrangement process takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours so please plan accordingly.
First, one of our Licensed Funeral Directors will gather information required for the death certificate. This includes:
- Full Name and Address of your loved one
- Social Security Number
- Date and City of Birth
- Marital Status
- Highest Level of Education
- Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
- Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
- Occupation and Employer
- Veteran’s Paper’s (DD-214 is required for a Military Honor Guard or claiming of Veteran’s Benefits)
In addition to the information above, other items we ask you to provide are as follows:
- Life Insurance Policies (if you intend to use this as payment, please see our payment policy)
- A full set of clothing for your loved one (Undergarments & shoes if possible)
- A Recent photograph(s)
- Cemetery Deed/ Paperwork
Our funeral home will contact the house or worship/clergy and cemetery, as well as any other agencies necessary, to make sure that we handle everything for you. Once times are provided for the services, we can advise you on certain things such as when to arrive for the first viewing and when to schedule the funeral luncheon.