What to Do When a Death Occurs

Call us at 800-433-7993 we are here to help any time of day or night.

When a death occurs the order of what needs to be done often depends on where the death happened:

At Home or Work

If a death occurs at home or another facility and the deceased was not under a physician’s care then the authorities need to be notified and come to the location before we can transfer your loved one into our care. If you have questions or are unsure how to handle the situation you can always call Smith-Corcoran and we will help.

Under a Physician’s Care

If a death occurs at a nursing home, hospice, residence or hospital and the deceased is under a physician’s care then the family, the nurse or professional staff can contact Smith-Corcoran. It is a good idea to leave the funeral home’s name and number with the nursing home or hospice.

During the initial call, the funeral director will gather some general information to be able to transfer your loved one into our care at the funeral home. The funeral director may ask you several questions, including whether you made any pre-arrangements. The director will also schedule a date and time for you to meet at the funeral home and will let you know what you should bring.

What to bring when you come for Arrangements

  • Clothing
  • A recent photo of your loved one
  • Personal information for the death certificate:
    • Social Security number
    • Parent’s names (including mother’s maiden name)
    • Date of birth
    • Work history
    • Address
    • Education
    • See our Death Certificate sheet under helpful forms
  • Military discharge papers if a Veteran
  • Questions?- we are here to help you and answer any questions. Your funeral director will guide you and be a resource throughout the process. The funeral is for the family and friends and it is your input that makes it a meaningful experience.

What to Expect when you arrive at Smith-Corcoran

You will be greeted and meet with a licensed funeral director who will discuss all your options and arrange the details of the funeral service. The funeral director will also introduce you to our caring staff members at Smith-Corcoran who are here to assist as well.

The director will talk with you to learn about the deceased’s life and make recommendations for a meaningful and dignified service.

The director will oversee all service details ranging from:

  • Confirming times, dates and location of the funeral service
  • Selecting and confirming clergy or presider
  • Placing an obituary in local and out of town newspapers
  • Confirming and arranging times with the selected cemetery
  • Arranging Military Honors when applicable
  • Selection and ordering of all funeral merchandise including the casket, vault, flowers, grave markers and all other desired items
  • Notifying Social Security
  • Collect information for the death certificate and file all information with the necessary local authorities
  • Follow up and stay connected with you from the first call through the services
  • Getting proposals for headstones and grave markers
  • Helping setup a memorial meal, luncheon or gathering
  • Making sure you know what to expect during the service.
  • For cremations the director will go over all additional necessary authorizations and will require the minimum of a photo for identification purposes.

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