What To Do When Death Occurs

There are few things in life more unnerving than the death of a family member or friend. We have compiled the necessary steps of what to do when a death occurs. If you have any questions, please call us.

It is best that the family calls us directly, this allows us to ensure a smooth handling of all details

When death occurs at home and the deceased WAS NOT under the care of a physician or hospice, your local police department should be notified (call 911). A police officer will attend the scene and determine if the death appeared to be of natural causes. The officer will call the medical examiner to determine if there is a medical doctor or nurse practitioner who is able to sign the death certificate. If the medical examiner is able to find a medical doctor or nurse practitioner to sign the death certificate, the medical examiner will issue the deceased an NJA(no jurisdiction assumed) number and the deceased person may be transported to our funeral home. The officer or representing agent (chaplain, firefighter, paramedic) who contacted the medical examiner will call us to come take the deceased person into our care. To be safe, it is best that the family calls us directly, this allows us to ensure a smooth handling of all details.

The officer or representing agent (chaplain, firefighter, paramedic) who contacted the medical examiner will call us to come take the deceased person into our care.

When death occurs at home and the deceased WAS under the care of hospice. Call the Hospice organization immediately when the death occurs. The Hospice staff will cover all the necessary steps to ensure that all legal requirements are met for the county in which the passing occurred. Hospice, then will contact us to arrange the transfer of the decedent into our care. Often families will have some private time with decedent before we transfer them into our care. This can be decided at the time of death.

When a death occurs in a hospital, skilled care facility, hospice center, nursing home or adult care home, the professionals at the care facility will take care of the immediate details, they'll call us, this is where we step in to help. The medical staff at the health care facility will cover all the necessary steps to ensure that all legal requirements are met for the county of the passing. Although some health care facilities will call the funeral home on behalf of the family, this is the exception rather than the rule. To be safe, it is best that the family calls us directly, this allows us to ensure a smooth handling of all details.

The Medical Examiner, depending upon the circumstances, may require that an autopsy be performed. If the death was suspicious in nature, then the Medical Examiner will require an autopsy.

If a sudden death occurs outside of a health care facility, the best advice is to call 911 to dispatch local police to the scene. The police will then determine the appropriate steps to take depending upon the particular situation. In the case of a non-suspicious death of an apparently healthy individual, the police would call the medical examiner's office and await instructions. The Medical Examiner, depending upon the circumstances, may require that an autopsy be performed. If the death was suspicious in nature, then the Medical Examiner will require an autopsy.

If the death of a family member is anticipated, it is wise to begin thinking about the final arrangements in advance.

If the death of a family member is anticipated, it is wise to begin thinking about the final arrangements in advance. We frequently meet with the family prior to the death to begin the process of gathering the needed information and discuss services. This helps the family to not be as overwhelmed, with making numerous important decisions at the time of death. To the begin the arrangement process, just give us a call. Alternatively, you can start the process by filling out our online form.

Regardless of when and where a death occurs, the family should call us as soon a possible.

Regardless of when and where a death occurs, the family should call us as soon a possible. At that time we will ask some specific questions, such as: the name and location of the family member who passed away, the name of the attending physician and the name of the next of kin, the name of the hospice association and hospice worker who will be contacting us. We will also ask about the type of funeral service the family is considering so that we may begin any necessary procedures as expediently as possible. If you are undecided on the type of service, you need not make any immediate decisions. We will allow you adequate time to make them and provide you with prices of various options ahead of time to assist you. Finally, we will set up a convenient appointment time to make the actual arrangements in the comfort of our office, your home, online or via fax.

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