What happens when a death has occurred

A Death has occurred, what do I do?

No matter if a death is sudden, or not, the loss of a loved one stirs many emotions.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for a loss.  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 or emergency medical services will have to be notified immediately.  They will be dispatched to the home and they will place the call to the medical examiner.  From there the medical examiner may  take your loved one into their care and determine whether further action is necessary.  The medical examiner must release your loved one before our funeral home can be involved.  If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative immediately.

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

Either your family member or the staff of a care facility (such as a hospital or a nursing home) will notify the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  If our funeral home name has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, we will be notified at the time of death.  If you are present when one of our directors arrives, he or she will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and then set up a time for you 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 your 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 help you obtain a death certificate, transport your loved one, and in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket/urn and arrange for services.  Our funeral directors are here to guide you and will work diligently to relieve the stress and logistics involved in funeral planning.

Meeting our Funeral Director

You should meet with our funeral director within 24 hours of a death to begin to make final arrangements for your loved one.  Deciding these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting task, but our funeral home staff has years of experience dealing with these issues and will guide you every with every step.

​Making Arrangements

First our Funeral Director will gather information required for your loved ones certificate of death. 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/maiden name for wife)
  • Occupation

Our funeral director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the necessary paperwork. Those documents include:

  • Social Security Number
  • Account Statements
  • Marriage Certificate
  • DD214/Military Discharge papers if an honorably discharged veteran

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
  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Choosing Funeral Products
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice

One of our funeral directors will guide you through all these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. The funeral services should be personalized.  Did your loved one have a favorite sports team?  What was their favorite type of music?  What was your loved ones favorite activity?  Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honor the life of your loved one.

Please remember that our family has licensed funeral directors since 1905 and we have continued to care for families for all of these years. We are there for you...

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