When Death Occurs
No matter if a death is sudden, or if it is 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. The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.
When death occurs at home
If the person was not under hospice care, the police will have to be notified immediately. The police will be dispatched to the home and will place a call to the county coroner. The coroner will officially pronounce the person dead and determine an official time of death. If the coroner determines that it indeed was a natural death and no fowl play was at hand they will at that point contact a funeral home directly to remove the body. If the coroner feels there needs to be further investigation into death they will call the medical examiner and schedule an autopsy to be conducted before a funeral home is involved. If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative (if they were not present) and they will instruct the family members in the proper procedures to follow.
When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/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. If the name of a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will notify us after the family has been notified. If you are present at the hospital when we (the funeral directors) arrive, we will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the funeral home to make arrangements. If you are not present when we arrive at the facility, we will call you to discuss these arrangements.
Informing a Funeral Director
Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to the funeral home. We (the funeral directors) are here to help you obtain a death certificate, transport the body, and in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket/urn and arrange the funeral or memorial service. We will also help you notify any insurance companies, social security and the veterans administration if needed. We are here to help and advise you and will work very hard to relieve the stress and logistics involved in funeral planning.