A helpful guide

When Death Occurs

"What do I do when death occurs?" is one of the most common questions we receive. While this time can be overwhelming, please remember we are here to help.

Who do I notify?

First call the funeral home

If the death occurs in a hospital or medical facility: the facility staff (nurse or Chaplin) will most likely asssist you with the first call to the funeral home.  

If death occurs while the patient is under the care of hospice: Your first call will be to your hospice nurse. The hospice nurse will assist you with the first call to the funeral home.

If death has occurred and you are notified that the deceased is being held at a medical examiners office: Let the medical examiner know your funeral home choice and they will contact us. Or, you may call the funeral home yourself and we will assist you in contacting the medical examiner's office.

If death occurs unexpectedly outside of the care of medical staff, we advise you to call 911.  The responding personnel will assist you.

Then begin contacting family, closest friends and other important people

You will need to notify friends, family, clergy, doctor, and any one else on your priority list. It is often helpful to make only a few calls yourself, asking for help from your closest friends and family in notifying other people. The emotional drain of sharing grief can be overwhelming and it will be important for you to get support from others

Following initial notifications, contact these:

  • Place of employment, if working. You'll want to check on insurance benefits, accrued leave and other benefits you may be entitled to.
  • Life insurance company to determine insurance benefits.