- What To Expect on Your First Visit
- First Visit Checklist
- Documents Needed to Conduct Business
- Who May Need a Death Certificate?
- Download FREE Helpful Task Checklist
- Useful Documents & Forms
What To Expect on Your First Visit
Download Your First Visit Information Sheet for reference.
When you visit the funeral home, the funeral director will guide you through the entire arrangement process, and assist you in creating a memorable celebration of your loved one's life. The arrangement process will include preparing and filing the death certificate and other government documents; scheduling the location, date and time of services or other events; selecting a casket, urn or other items; preparing an obituary; and coordinating services with other providers, including the cemetery. Necessary authorizations will need to be signed by the appropriate next of kin.
Feel free to bring any photos, music or memorabilia so that you and your director can discuss how you would like your loved one to be remembered. More and more people today choose to personalize the funeral services. A favorite song or gathering place, even a favorite activity can all become part of the service.
Our directors will listen and assist you in planning a loving tribute that captures the spirit of the person whose life you wish to honor.
Information to bring to assist us with the death certificate and the obituary.
The following list will help you remember what information and items you should consider bringing when first meeting with a funeral director.
- Full legal name (including the maiden name)
- Home address
- Social Security number
- Date and Place of birth
- Father's name and Mother's name (including her maiden name)
- Occupation (during working lifetime)
- Highest education completed
- Cemetery information (if applicable)
What to bring to assist with planning the funeral service.
- Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214) or other proof of military service
- Insurance Policies if you are planning to assign proceeds to cover the balance or so we can help you file on your behalf
- Appropriate clothing, including undergarments, glasses and/or jewelry items
- Clergy name and phone number
- Appropriate photograph, with list of survivors
- Names of Pallbearers or Honorary Pallbearers (if desired)
First Visit Checklist
Caskets are not required for cremation unless one is desired by the family or there is to be a public viewing before the cremation. All that is required by OSHA is the OSHA approved minimum cardboard container and pouch which are cremated with the body. Other OSHA approved cremation containers are available for purchase as well. The basic containment materials are provided by our funeral home and are included in our direct cremation package.
We do not require embalming unless there is to be a public viewing with an open casket or in rare cases where the body is to be shipped long distances (usually internationally), before cremation. We invite immediate family members to privately view the deceased prior to cremation at no charge.
- Obtain an adequate number of certified copies of the death certificate for legal purposes. You also my re-order certified copies by calling the funeral home. Who Needs a Death Certificate?
- Notify your bank. Change all accounts into your name only or joint accounts with surviving children or relatives.
- Notify deceased's employer and employer's personnel or insurance department. Check on group insurance benefits, survivor's benefits, profit sharing, and/or pension monies, which you may be entitled to.
- Check on monies in credit unions. Some supply life insurance.
- Inquire about health insurance coverage for you and your children if carried by the deceased.
- Check on accident insurance. If death was accidental, you may be entitled to benefits on the unused premium.
- Check on automobile insurance. See above.
- If the deceased was a member of a labor union, notify the union and inquire about any benefits survivors are entitled to.
- Check with fraternal organizations that the deceased was a member of; they may provide benefits.
- Apply at a local Social Security office for any benefits you and your minor children are entitled to. Social Security Benefits
- Collect any debts owed to deceased by other persons.
- Review of your present financial situation.
- If you have no income or monies due you presently, seek emergency aid from the Department of Social Services.
- Keep an up-to-date accounting of all cash income and expenses.
- Get hospital and medical statements as soon as possible.
- Pay all bills and taxes owed as soon as possible (funeral, income tax, real estate, home mortgage, hospital and other bills incurred). But first, check on credit life insurance that may have been carried on all debts (house, car, appliances, ect.). Close accounts covered by this insurance.
- For any legal questions concerning the deceased, we suggest you contact your attorney. He will discuss with you probating of the will, inheritance, estate taxes, etc.
- Draw up or update your own will.
- Change beneficiary on your inheritance.
- Transfer real estate title of jointly-held property in the Register of Deeds office in the county where real estate is located.
- Change stocks and bonds into your name only or jointly with surviving children or relatives.
- Transfer automobile title into your name at Secretary of State's office, or if estate is probated, through Probate Court.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.
Documents You Will Need to Conduct Business
It is advisable to call parties concerned before visiting their offices to check on which documents they will need. If documents are given to them, get a receipt (insurance polices, etc.).
- DEATH CERTIFICATE- WILLS
- SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS YOURS AND THE DECEASED
- MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE- BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF EACH CHILD
- ARMED SERVICE DISCHARGE PAPERS- VETERAN'S ADMINISTRATION CLAIM NUMBER
- INSURANCE POLICIES -DEEDS AND TITLES TO PROPERTY
- STOCK CERTIFICATES -BANK BONDS
- AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION
- LOAN AND INSTALLMENT PAYMENT BOOKS AND CONTRACTS
- RECENT INCOME TAX FORMS AND W-2 FORMS
Who May Need a Death Certificate?
Download Who May Need a Death Certificate for reference.
This list below indicates who may need a certified copy of the death certificate.
- __ Each Life Insurance Claim being processed
- __ Real Estate Transactions
- __ Vehicle Title Transfers
- __ Boat Title Transfers
- __ Each Stock/Bond or Each Stock/Bond Portfolio
- __ Oil Leases
- __ Bank Accounts (Including savings, checking, CDs IRAs)
- __ Probating a Will
- __ Purchases with Credit Life Insurance Attached
- __ Some Credit Cards Companies
- __ Prearranged Funeral or Cemetery Insurance/Trust
- __ Government or Employer Claims/Pensions
- __ Other ______________________________________________
- _____ Total Certified Death Certificates Your Family Might Need
Download Our FREE Helpful Task List
This FREE check list contains 125 actions that must be taken immediately following death. Fill out the form below to download the checklist and receive assistance from one of our trusted funeral directors.
Useful Documents & Forms
All forms will be downloaded to your computer when you click on their link below. Once you have completed all required information you will be able to save the form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please print a copy for your records as well.
- Death Certificate Form
- Legal Next of Kin Verification Form
- Embalming Authorization Form
- Cremation Authorization Form
- Your First Visit
- Who Needs a Death Certificate?
- Follow-up Checklist
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the forms above (PDF format). This is a free program available from the Adobe web site. Follow the download directions on the Adobe web site to get your copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.