When Death Occurs

No matter if a death is sudden, or if it is something that was foreseen, the loss of a loved one follows with emotions and often a sense of feeling 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 and tasks can seem difficult. The following information is simply a rough guideline of some things that will likely need to take place during the first 24 hours following a death.


When Death Occurs at Home or a Place of Business

When a death occurs at home or in the workplace, and the person was not under hospice care, the police will need to be notified immediately. The police will then be dispatched to the the place of death and inform the county's coroner/medical examiner. At that point, the coroner/medical examiner will determine if further action is necessary. Once the coroner/medical examiner has released the body, the funeral home can then receive the person into our care. If the person was under hospice care, simply contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members as to what will be the proper procedures to follow. They will also contact the funeral home and let us know when we may be able to receive the person into our care.

When Death Occurs at a Hospital, Nursing Home or Hospice Facility

When a death occurs at a hospital, nursing home or hospice facility, the staff of the facility will notify family members and necessary authorities immediately upon the death. If a funeral home has already been provided to the facility, the staff member will notify our funeral home. If you are present when our caring staff member arrives, we will ask a few questions regarding the initial care and ceremony wishes for the deceased and then arrange a time for family and clergy to make service plans. If no pre-planning has been recorded in our file, we will also provide you our "Life History and Service Planning Packet." However, if you are not present, our caring staff member will contact you by telephone initially right away.

Meeting with Our Funeral Director

You should plan to meet with our funeral director within 24 hours of the death of your loved one. Our caring staff member will also reach out to a clergy person, if known, and plan for them to be present at our meeting. Although planning a ceremony may seem difficult, our caring staff will educate you as to elements of ceremony and how they can contribute to you creating a ceremony reflective of your loved one. We will then work hard to ensure the details of your loved one's tribute are arranged and help facilitate the ceremony, allowing you to participate in your grief.

What to Expect When You Meet with Us

Please allow 2 - 4 hours of your time when you meet with us. We are a service orientated funeral home and will give you comprehensive planning at our arrangement. We will educate you and then record all of your ceremony wishes. Following our arrangement, our caring staff will then coordinate all details of the ceremony, including coordinating clergy, organist, soloist, meal, cemetery grave opening, placement of obituary, and anything else pertaining to the ceremony for your loved one.

A common agenda will often be as follows:

  • Establish service and visitation times, along with locations, for the ceremony.
  • Selection of service details: Music, Scripture, Number to plan, Luncheon, Bearers, etc.
  • Life History: Composing the obituary and recording vital statistics for death certificate.
  • Financial: Cover costs associated with funeral home services and merchandise, along with thoroughly discussing other outside costs that may be incurred relating to the ceremony.
  • Finalize authorization and payment arrangements.
  • Review responsibilities and answer any final questions.

A checklist of items to bring at the time of arrangement conference:

  • Clothing - Full set, covering top, pants, socks (including undergarments); shoes optional
  • Photograph(s) to be used for website, newspaper and memorial folder
  • DVD photos (up to 54 photos; please arrange in chronological order)

Payment Options: We ask for full payment within 30 days of arrangement conference. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check, Life Insurance Assignment, or pre-funded burial account proceeds. County Assistance may also assist with minimal burial expenses to those who qualify. Applying for county assisted burial is a time sensitive process. If you believe you may be eligible, please notify your funeral director prior to the arrangement conference, per county policy.

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