First Steps After A Death

No matter if a death is sudden, or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed. No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. Our staff of licensed funeral directors will sit down with you, and explain your options to help you best remember and celebrate the life of your loved one.

When a death occurs at home or place of business

If the person was not under hospice care, call 911 immediately. The police and rescue will be dispatched to the place of death, and contact the medical examiner. From there the medical examiner will determine whether further investigation or examination is necessary. The medical examiner must release the body before a funeral home can take the deceased into care. If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative, and let them know about the death first and they will explain the proper procedures to follow.

When a death occurs at a hospital, nursing home or hospice facility

The staff of a care facility, such as a hospital or a nursing home, will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred, prior to releasing your loved one to our care.  Most nursing homes and hospice facilities will contact the funeral home on your behalf.  As a general practice, hospitals do not contact the funeral home to notify us of the death, so in this case, you (or another member the family, a family representative, a legal representative or friend) would have to contact us following the death.  One of our funeral directors will reach out to the appropriate facility and make arrangements to take your loved one into our care, and also reach out to you in order to schedule an appointment to make necessary funeral arrangements, or to review any pre-planned funeral arrangements with you. 

What to bring when meeting with the funeral director

The funeral director's main function is to assist you with the necessary details of the funeral process. In order for us to render the best possible service, we ask that you bring the following information and items with you:

Vital Statistics

  • Full legal name
  • Address of the deceased
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth (with city and county)
  • Age
  • Social Security Number
  • Occupation - kind of business or industry
  • Marital status
  • Maiden name, if applicable
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Education
  • Name of surviving spouse and family members
Additional Items

  • A recent photo
  • Pertinent information about your loved one for an obituary
  • Personal items such as clothing, including under garments, cosmetics, jewelry, glasses, etc.
  • Military Discharge Papers for military funerals and veteran benefits
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Pictures and mementos

How we can help

Our funeral directors will assist you taking care of all the details to created a ceremony that allows you and your family to celebrate your loved one in a special way.  This includes:

  • Arranging funeral plans
  • Securing necessary permits and death certificates
  • Care and custody of the body
  • Coordinating all details with the clergy
  • Arranging the music you have selected
  • Placing obituary and funeral notices in newspapers
  • Assisting in arranging for burial or cremation
  • Assisting in arrangements for cemetery space, grave opening and closing, flowers and monuments
  • Arranging transportation for you and the members of your family prior to, during, and after the funeral
  • Supervision of the funeral/memorial service and burial service.
  • Arranging for a luncheon or collation
  • Catering coordination

Selecting the type of service

After a death, there are a number options for a funeral service, such as traditional service, or a service where a casket is buried, or the numerous types of services when cremation is selected.  There are factors—including cost, religious or cultural traditions, and time constraints— that may influence your decision.  Our licensed funeral directors will explain you options so that an appropriate ceremony is created based on your preferences.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.  If you have any questions, or need assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 401-723-9792.

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