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When Death Occurs

At the time of death the funeral home is notified, and we will transport your loved one to our facility to await the decisions of the next of kin.

We will be in contact to set up an appointment to discuss arrangements.

At the arrangement conference, you are given our complete price list for services and merchandise and we inquire into the details of the funeral itself.

  • Is there going to be a funeral?
    • a chapel service
    • a church service
    • a graveside service
    • military honors (Need proof of service, DD214)
  • Will the deceased be viewed?
    • If so, preparations of remains (embalming) is required.
  • If cremation is chosen, no embalming is necessary unless the family wishes to have a public viewing.
  • Decide on the day and time of the funeral and the time of visitation the night before - if one is desired.
  • Is the funeral home or the church available for that time?
  • Is the clergy available for that time and day?
  • Is the time convenient for out of town family to arrive?

We will notify the clergy and/or the church and the cemetery to confirm the time.

  • We will ask questions that relate to the death certificate (a legal document that we produce on your behalf) and the number of copies you will need.
    These questions include:
  • Legal name for death certificate
  • Age
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Father's Name
  • Mother's Name (this includes the maiden name)
  • Social Security Number
  • Job title and industry
  • Veteran (need DD- Form 214)
    If you choose to place an obituary in any newspaper:
  • We need the name of the deceased by which most people would know your loved one. Also, his or her proper name.
  • The family members you want listed in the paper.
  • The biographical information (what he or she liked to do, accomplished in life, awards, special organizations, etc.)
  • If you would like memorials to an organization.
  • Do you want a photo in the paper? This adds about $20.00 more to the cost of the obituary in the local paper. The average cost is around $350.00 but depending on length can be a great deal more.
    We will then ask:
  • How many death certificates you will need. We estimate 2 copies if a will is to be probated; 1 for each life insurance company; 1 for each bank.
  • The average is usually about 6-8 death certificates, however, we can get more later.
  • Do you own cemetery property? If not, you may have to choose a cemetery and spaces. We can advise you on the local cemeteries and costs associated with them.
    There are other details that need to be considered. We will discuss all of these at the arrangement conference:
  • Type of music
  • Flowers for casket, or flag for veteran.
  • Memorials to organizations
  • Jewelry to be placed on the deceased
  • Does the jewelry stay on or is it to be removed before closing the casket?
  • Procession to the cemetery
  • Casket chosen
  • Burial vault chosen (required by some cemeteries)
  • Pallbearers to carry the casket (not needed when meeting at the graveside)
  • Will the casket be opened or closed for visitation?

Other Things to Consider

  1. Arrange for members of family or close friends to take turns answering door or phone, keeping careful record of calls.
  2. If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death.
  3. Coordinate the supplying of food for the next several days.
  4. Consider special needs of the household, such as cleaning , etc., which might be done by friends.
  5. Arrange for child care, if necessary.
  6. Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.
  7. Select pallbearers and notify the funeral home. (Avoid anyone with heart or back difficulties , or make them honorary pallbearers).
  8. Plan for disposition of flowers after funeral (church, hospital or rest home)
  9. Prepare list of distant persons to be notified by letter and/or printed notice, and decide which to send to each.
  10. Prepare list of persons to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments (can be written note, printed acknowledgments, or some of each). Include "thank you's" to those who have given their time as well.
  11. Notify insurance companies.
  12. Locate the will and notify lawyer and executor.
  13. Check carefully all life and casualty insurance and death benefits , including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check also on income for survivors from these sources.
  14. Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before the payments are due.
  15. If deceased was living alone, notify utilities and landlord and tell post office where to send mail.
  16. Funeral Director will prepare Social Security Form SSA 721. Check with Social Security to see that number is retired.