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 a funeral home can do anything. 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 a Funeral Director:
Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a licensed funeral director. Funeral directors are here to help you obtain a death certificate, transport the body, and, in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket or urn and arrange the funeral or memorial service. The funeral director will also help you notify the employer and insurance company of the deceased. Funeral directors are there to help you and advise you.
Meeting a Funeral Director
You should meet with a funeral director within 24 hours of a death to begin to make final arrangements for your loved one. Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state, but, funeral home staff have years of experience dealing with these issues, and strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
First, the Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate. This includes:
Full Name and Address
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 funeral director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, such as:
Life Insurance Policies
Real Estate Deeds
Car and Boat Deeds
Stock and Bond Certificates
Loans and Leases
Copies of Bills (Hydro, Cable, Phone etc.)
If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service. These include:
Scheduling the location, date and time of the visitation and funeral service
A funeral director will guide you through all of these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here the funeral services can be personalized. Did your loved one have a favorite sports team? What was their favorite type of music? What activity was your loved one known best for? Sharing these memories with the grieving process and will allow you to pay tribute to the life of your loved one.
Our Payment Policy
It is our hope that this review of our payment policy will alleviate any confusion on your part during this difficult time. In some instances families may be misinformed by professionals regarding our policy.
Our funeral home requires full payment for services rendered, merchandise provide and cash advances due - by the day of the funeral.
Finances received over the next several weeks and months by the family through the settlement of the estate and the benefits received through insurance proceeds are matters best left between the survivors and their counsel.