What Happens First
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, the emergency personnel will notify their physician.
If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility or under hospice care, they will notify the funeral home you have chosen to care for your loved one.
This part of the process is often the most emotional, and we are here to help and support you. If you’re not sure what to do, call us any time.
Within the First Few Hours
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 and meet with a funeral director to begin planning their service. If your loved one did not preplan their funeral, you might want to start thinking about a few of the big choices you will need to make, such as:
- Burial or cremation
- If burial, the type of casket
- If burial, the location of their final resting place in a grave or mausoleum
- If cremation, the type of urn
- If cremation, the location of their final resting place through burial or scattering
- Any religious services you will need, such as clergy or spiritual leaders
- The types of services you want, such as chapel, church, graveside memorial, and if it includes viewing.
These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. Don’t hesitate to contact us to gain a better understanding of your options. We're here to make this process easier for you.
What to Expect When We Meet
When you meet with a member of our staff to discuss your arrangements, we'll first 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.
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 as well:
- 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
- Information about the burial location if applicable
- Clergy name and phone number if applicable
- Names and relationships of survivors
- Insurance policy information if using to pay for funeral expenses
This process may include:
- Preparing and filing the official death certificate
- Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
- Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
- Drafting an obituary
- Selecting pallbearers
- Providing clothing and recent photo of your loved one