Our Family Caring For Yours

First Steps

First steps - When A Death Occurs

Holding Hands

If a death has occurred and you need help; call us anytime, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.

When someone dear to you passes it is an emotional and confusing time. If this is the first time you are responsible for handling the next steps, we hope the following points may help.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

When not under hospice care:

  • The police must be notified. They will arrive at the place of death, assess the situation, and place a call to the coroner/medical examiner. 
  • The coroner/medical examiner will take the body and determine whether further action is necessary. They must release the body before a funeral home can do anything. 

When person was under hospice care:

  • Contact the hospice representative if they were not present at death. They will be able to help next steps.

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, including the funeral home (if assigned) immediately after a death has occurred. 
  • When the funeral director arrives, he or she will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to make funeral arrangements.
  • If you are not present, a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements.

When a death occurs at out of your home state

  • Only contact ONE funeral home – the funeral home where funeral arrangements will be made. If you contact more than one firm, you may incur extra costs.
  • The receiving funeral home will make all necessary arrangements to bring the decedent back to the city of choice

Informing a Funeral Director

Once things are cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a licensed funeral director.

A funeral director will:

  • Transport the body
  • Obtain death certificates
  • Notify the deceased’s employer and insurance companies
  • Notify Social Security</