What To Do When Death Occurs

Through difficult moments and the days after loss, we’re here to help.

Your mind is spinning in a million different directions right now. That’s why we want to make it easy for you by answering your questions, making the process as simple as possible, and educating you on what needs to be done in these situations.

 You can always reach out with questions at any time.

1. Notify the right people

Death at Home:

  • If the death occurs at home and the deceased is not under the care of hospice, a family member should dial 911.

Under supervised care:

  • If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, the family should call a funeral home directly. Although some healthcare facilities will call the funeral home on behalf of the family, this is the exception rather than the rule.
Death in other locations:
  • If the death occurs in other locations, call 911 to dispatch local police to the scene. Regardless of when and where a death occurs, the family should call a funeral home as soon as possible. At that time, the funeral home will ask some specific questions, such as the name and location of the family member who passed away, and the name of the next of kin. They will also ask about the type of funeral service the family is considering so that they may begin any necessary procedures as quickly as possible.

2. Widen the circle

  • Begin discussing arrangements with the funeral home
  • Notify other family members
  • Contact any clergy or other spiritual advisers

3. Answer any key questions about arrangements

Was there a pre-plan in place? If so, your loved one has taken care of all the details and just wishes for you to celebrate their life. If the death is more sudden or a plan is not in place, don’t worry, there are just a few key steps for you to take care of:

  • Determine after-life choices
    • Do you need embalming?
    • Do you need a casket?
    • Do you need to make cemetery arrangements?
  • Choose the type of service
    • Do you need a minister or other clergy member?
    • What type of service do you want to have?

Please remember you don’t need to know all the answers - that’s why we’re here, to walk you through anything at all, at any time.

4. Talk to the cemetery

Once you've chosen the cemetery, we will walk you through any choices that need to be made and will let you know what you need to bring with you.

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