Notify these people as soon as possible:

  • The funeral director, to arrange for the transfer of the deceased (usually this can be done within 1-2 hours, although it may take longer to obtain a release from the hospital) and set an appointment with you to make further arrangements
  • Relatives, executor/executrix, and friends
  • Employers (the employer of the deceased and relatives who will need time off)
  • Insurance agents (life, health, and accident)
  • Religious, fraternal, civic, and Veterans organizations and unions, if applicable
  • Lawyer and accountant

Secure the vital statistics of deceased:

  • Full legal name-other names must be identified by “also known as” (AKA)
  • Home address and telephone number
  • Industry and occupation
  • Military service serial number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Father’s name and birthplace
  • Mother’s name, maiden name, & birthplace
  • Locate the will

Pay for:

  • Funeral arrangements, including clergy, florist, and transportation
  • Cemetery and memorialization services
  • Current and urgent bills (i.e., mortgage, rent, taxes, telephone, etc.)

Meet with the funeral home within a few hours to decide:

  • Whether your loved one is to be buried, cremated, or entombed
  • The funeral director will ask if you have made any arrangements with a cemetery or crematorium. If you have not done this, you will need to visit the cemetery
  • Service details-would you like a visitation period, formal service, reception?
  • Whether a member of the clergy will be engaged for the service
  • Casket selection
  • Clothing that the deceased will be buried or cremated in
  • Pallbearers, music, pictures, flowers, scripture, or other readings
  • If you would like a charity to receive donations in lieu of flowers