Losing someone close to you can be incredibly difficult, and if you’re responsible for handling funeral arrangements and personal affairs, the experience is often overwhelming. If this applies to you, here’s a death notification checklist of things that need to be taken care of after someone passes away. Note that some of these items can only be managed by the executor of a person’s estate, so if this isn’t you, it’s generally a good idea to work closely with the person who is. This checklist is ideal for family survivors, for those looking for what to do after the death of a parent, or after the death of a spouse.
When we experience death, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are some frequently asked questions when death occurs.
If your loved one died in a hospital, a doctor can take care of this for you. However, if your loved one passed at home or in another location, you’ll need to know who to call. If he or she passed away while in hospice care, call your hospice nurse. If your family member wasn’t at a hospital or in hospice, call 911.
Check your loved one’s driver’s license and/or advance directive to see if he or she was an organ donor. If so, let hospital staff know immediately (or call a nearby hospital if your loved one died at home). Organ donation is time-sensitive, so this is one area where it’s important to act quickly.
Every family is different, and there’s no one right way to do this. For some families, sharing the news in-person or over the phone is critical. For others an email or text message may be alright. If possible, split up the task between several family members.
First, check to see if your loved one expressed any wishes about final disposition or had made prepayments to a funeral home or cemetery. Ideally, there will be documentation with other medical documents.
If your loved one was responsible for caring for one or more people or pets, quickly find someone who can care for them temporarily while you figure out a long-term plan.
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the Internet. We provide this service on our own website as well. Contact us for details.
If your loved one lived on their own, make sure his or her home and any vehicles are locked up. If it will sit vacant for some time, consider notifying the landlord and/or the police, so they can help to keep an eye on it.
If the deceased was employed (or actively volunteering), call to let them know that your loved one has passed away. This is also a good time to ask about pay owed, benefits and life insurance.
The type of service conducted for a loved-one, if not noted in a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family’s community and religious affiliations.
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact us to explore the possibilities.
We are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it’s acceptable. Then they will come when your time is right.
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.
Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.
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