When Death Occurs
Planning a funeral can be overwhelming, but you are not alone in this. We’re here to support you throughout this journey and make this process one of love, healing, and life celebration. Below is some information to help you get started, but you can contact us at any time if you need help.
Immediately following the death of a loved one can often be the most emotional part of the process, but we are here to support you. If you are not sure what to do, call us at any time. We can help direct you towards the right initial steps no matter where your loved one passed away.
- When a loved one dies at home or in a place that isn’t a healthcare facility, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel before they can be taken into our care. If your loved one was under medical care, it’s a good idea to call their physician as well.
- If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility, the facility will notify the proper authorities, including the funeral home you have chosen to care for your loved one if they know that information.
- When death occurs while out of town or away from home, it’s important that you contact the local medical authorities first (as well as the police, if appropriate), and then make sure to give us a call as soon as possible. We will work with you to make the necessary arrangements to transfer your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible. Calling us will also help you to avoid duplication of efforts and fees.
It's important to note that involving emergency and medical personnel at the beginning of the process will help with obtaining a medical certificate and any other necessary paperwork. This is why it's always one of the very first steps.
Within the First Few Days
You’ll want to notify close friends and relatives, both through personal phone calls as well as your loved one’s death notice. If this process is too painful for you, it’s absolutely okay to ask a trusted family member or friend to help you.
This also is the time to review any of your loved one’s preplanned funeral wishes (if available) and designate a time to meet with a funeral director to begin planning the funeral services.
Information to Prepare
We'd like to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can, so remember to bring the following information about your loved one with you when meeting with our staff:
- Full legal name and home address
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father's name
- Mother's maiden name
- Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
- Highest education
- Names and relationships of survivors
- Clergy name and phone number, if applicable
- Final disposition details
- Insurance policy information for funeral expenses, if applicable
- A recent photograph and any clothing to be used when dressing the deceased for services
What to Expect When We Meet
A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects of funerals and related services. They provide support to the family, guide the arrangement of visitations and funeral ceremonies, prepare the deceased according to the family’s wishes, and ensure that everything goes according to plan. They also arrange for the removal and transportation of the deceased throughout the process and assist families with any legal or insurance-related paperwork they might need to file.
When you first meet with a member of our staff to discuss your arrangements, we will provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of what our services cost. We'll then ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the services will honor. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one's life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. Our professionals will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one's life.
Be prepared for the first meeting with our staff to include:
- Preparing and filing the official death certificate
- Scheduling the services and events, including the location, date, and time
- Selecting pallbearers
- Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
- Drafting an obituary
- Arranging necessary transportation