When Death Occurs

Whether a death is sudden or expected, the loss of a loved one is indescribable. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. This section seeks to guide you through the immediate hours following a passing.

When death occurs at home 

    • 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 will place the call to the coroner or medical examiner.  From there, the coroner or medical examiner will remove the body and determine whether further action is necessary.  The coroner or medical examiner must release the body before a funeral home can do anything.  

    • If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative, 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 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 passing. 

  • If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased's wishes and set up a time to make arrangements. 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 making 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. Do not worry: Our staff have 50 years of experience, and will strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements:

First, the Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate. 

This includes:


  • Decedent's Full Legal Name:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth (City & State):
  • Parent's Names (Including Mother's Maiden Name):
  • Social Security Number 
  • Served in the Armed Forces? Yes/No  - {If Yes please specify the branch and years served or wartime era}
  • Race/Ethnicity:
  • Highest Grade Completed (Education): 
  • Usual Occupation (Job Title when working, cannot put "retired")
  • Type of Business/Industry 
  • Name & Locality of the Company/Employer
  • Marital Status (Choices are: Never Married, Married, Divorced, Widowed, Legally Separated)
  • If Married or Separated, Spouse's full name (Maiden name for a wife):
  • Legal Residence:
  • Next of Kin Full Legal Name
  • Next of Kin Address (if different): 
  • Relationship to Deceased
  • Telephone Number 

{Click Here to Provide Vital Statistics Now}

The funeral director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, which may include:

  • Life Insurance Policies
    •  {if life insurance is being assigned as a method of payment} 
  • Veteran's Honorable Discharge Paperwork 
    • {Commonly known as a DD-214 or may be a wall certificate} 
  • Cemetery Deed  {to locate plots}