DEALING WITH A LOSS

What To Do When Death Occurs


You and your family must make many decisions and gather numerous facts and documents when a death occurs. We realize this is a very difficult time and want you to know we are here to help. Following is some information we hope you find helpful as you take care of your loved one’s final arrangements. To search through burial products offered by Linden Funeral Home, click here.


Notification of the Proper Authorities

When a death occurs in a care facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, the professional staff will notify you and the necessary authorities. If a loved one was in the care of a hospice program, a hospice representative may give family members instructions and procedures to follow. In other situations, such as when a death occurs at home or in the workplace, a family member should contact emergency personnel and the person’s physician if he or she was under a doctor’s care.

In those first few hours . . .

~ One of the first phone calls you will need to make is to the  funeral home you will entrust with the care of your loved one. The funeral staff at Linden Funeral Home are experienced professionals who can provide information and guidance.

~ Call or contact other family members and friends.

~ Call clergy or other spiritual advisors.

~ If your loved one wanted to be an organ donor, inform the hospital staff or the organization to receive the donations.

The Death Certificate

A death certificate is a legal document signed by the attending physician indicating the cause of death and other vital statistics pertaining to the decedent. If your loved one died in an accident, the county medical examiner or coroner may prepare the form. The funeral arranger can help you prepare and file the death certificate with the state and assist you with purchasing certified copies. Certified copies are needed to apply for benefits due the family, to sell or transfer ownership of property, to gain access to safety deposit boxes and bank accounts and to receive Veteran’s benefits. Additional copies may be ordered at any time directly from the county or state agency responsible for vital statistics.

First Call to the Funeral Home

The first call to the funeral home lets the funeral arranger know that a death has occurred. While you may ask the arranger any questions at this time, you will be able to discuss the arrangements in detail later when you meet in person. During this initial call, the funeral director will gather information to be able to transport your loved one to the funeral home. The funeral director may ask you several questions, including whether your loved one made any prearrangements and whether you give your permission to embalm the decedent, if necessary. The funeral director will schedule a date and time for you to meet at the funeral home and will let you know what you should bring with you. 

First Visit to the Funeral Home

When you visit the funeral home, the funeral director will provide you with price lists and guide you through the entire arrangement process, explaining how you can create a memorable personal celebration of your loved one’s life. The arrangement process may include preparing and filing the official death certificate; scheduling the location, date and time of services or events; selecting a casket, urn or other items; preparing an obituary notice; scheduling vehicles; and selecting pallbearers. You may also sign necessary authorizations or make arrangements to have them signed by the appropriate family members.

Feel free to bring any photos, music or memorabilia so that you and your funeral director can discuss how you would like your loved one to be remembered. More and more people today choose to personalize the funeral services they plan for their loved ones. A favorite song, a favorite gathering place, even a favorite activity can all become part of the service. Our funeral director will listen and assist you in planning a loving tribute that captures the spirit of the person whose life you wish to honor. The funeral director will discuss personalization with you during your arrangement conference.

Items to Bring the Funeral Home Director

The following items will help you remember what information about the decedent and items needed when meeting with the funeral home director:

                        Full legal name                                           Home address                                          Social Security number

                        Date of birth                                               Place of birth                                             Father’s name

                        Mother’s maiden name                             Veteran’s discharge (DD-214)                Recent photograph

                        Highest education                                     Occupation                                                Place of burial (if applicable)

                        Clothing                                                       Clergy name and phone number          Survivors (name and relationship)

                        Insurance policies (if applicable)