Within Hours of your Loved One’s Death
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. You can start with hospice if your loved one is enrolled in a program. If not, please contact your local county coroner or authorities. If your loved one was under medical care, it’s a good idea to call their physician as well.
If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility, they will notify the proper authorities.
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 Days
You’ll want to notify close friends and relatives, both through personal phone calls as well as your loved one’s death notice online and in the paper. If this process is too painful for you, it’s absolutely okay to ask a trusted family member or friend to help you.
When we contact you after bringing your loved one back to the funeral home, we will set up a meeting to begin planning their service. If your loved one preplanned this is the time to review your loved one's arrangements if you have them at home. On the day you come in for arrangements we have a file on hand with a record of their wishes that will be made available to you. We have an excellent pre-need program that takes care of most of the decision making process before the time those decisions have to be made. If your loved one did not preplan their funeral, some of the choices you will need to make are:
- Burial or cremation
- If burial, the type of casket
- If burial, the location of the final resting place.
- If cremation, the majority of our families who choose cremation elect to use our rental casket to allow for the viewing of the deceased at the wake and/or funeral service. The other option is cremation in which the deceased is present in an urn for their wake and funeral service.
- If cremation with a burial, the location of the final resting place.
- Any religious services you will need, such as clergy or spiritual leaders.
- The types of services you want, such as a viewing, funeral service, graveside service, memorial service, celebration of life, or green burial..
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 provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of what our services cost.
We'll 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 and to help you write the obituary.
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, outer burial container or other products you may need
- Drafting an obituary and publishing it in local newspapers and radios.
- Arranging necessary transportation
- Choosing a stationary package and designing the memorial card.
We'd like to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can. We have a form that lists the information you will need and we will bring it with us when we come to bring your loved one into our care, but here are some of the bullet points on that form:
- 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
Please bring a recent photograph for the obituary and several other photos that you would like for display in the register book. Also, bring the clothing you'd like us to use when dressing the deceased for their service.