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What to Do When a Loved One Dies

What to do when a loved one dies

When someone we care about dies, whether the death is expected or unexpected, we find ourselves unprepared for what steps need to be taken.

Let us guide you through the first steps

Let us guide you through the first steps

When someone dies, regardless of the time or place, call us at 708-458-0208. 

We personally  answer all phone calls. We do not have an answering service. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer all calls. We will try to answer any questions you may have and give advice on what steps need to be taken. 

At this time, we will need to get some information from you, such as:  

  • The name of the deceased
  • The place of death (address if it is a home)
  • Your name and relationship to the deceased
  • A phone number where you can be reached

We will also set up an appointment time that is convenient for you and family members to come to the funeral home to discuss the funeral arrangements.

What to do in the Event of a Death

What to do in the Event of a Death

DEATH AT HOMEWhen someone dies at home and was not on Hospice care, you must notify the local Fire Department  and Police Department.  The Fire Department and Police Departments have to be called in order to pronounce the person dead and rule out any foul play or questionable circumstances. Once the police call the Medical Examiner's office and give them information, it will be determined if the person's body needs to go to the Medical Examiner's or to the funeral home.  In either case, you will need to call us. If the person needs to go to the Medical Examiner's office we will transport the body there. If the person is cleared to come to the funeral home. we will bring the person back into our care. 

DEATH OF A PERSON ON HOSPICE CAREWhen a person dies at home and is a Hospice Patient, the family may call us and the Hospice Nurse (if he or she is not there). We have to wait for the Hospice Nurse to pronounce the person dead and give a time of death.  The Police and Fire Department do not have to be notified. If someone passes away on a Hospice unit in a hospital, the nurse will call us about the death and we will come directly to the bedside to bring the person back into our care.

DEATH IN A HOSPITAL When someone dies in the Emergency Room or is an inpatient in the hospital, it is wise to call us. Some healthcare facilities will call on behalf of the family but many times it is the responsibility of someone from the family to call. Once the hospital finishes the paper work and gives permission we will bring your loved one into our care.

DEATH IN A NURSING HOMEIf a person dies at a nursing home, usually the nurse will notify us. If you are present when the death occurs, you may choose to wait until we get there or not. If you want to come to the nursing home to see your loved one, we will make arrangements to be at the nursing home at the time you would like us to be there.

WHEN A DEATH OCCURS OUT OF STATEWhen a person dies outside of Illinois. Call us first and we will make arrangements to have your loved one transported back to Illinois. Only one call to us is needed. We will take care of all the details for transportation.

What to expect when we meet for the arrangement conference

What to expect when we meet for the arrangement conference

When we meet for the arrangement we will first provide you with a general price list so as to give you a basic idea of what our services cost.

We then will ask you about your loved one, to share their life story, revisit memories and talk about their accomplishments,  to help us gain an understanding of what services would best honor them. We will offer suggestions and ask about your ideas and preferences. 

During this time we will :

  • Obtain information from you to prepare  the official death certificate
  • Schedule the services and events (including the location, date and time)
  • Have you select a casket or urn, remembrance cards, and other products needed
  • Draft an obituary for the website and or newspaper
  • Guide you in planning a service that reflects the personality and interest of your loved one and provide you with options that offer flexibility and individuality and is appropriate for your family, your traditions and your budget.

We will take care of all the details so that you don't have to worry and can have time to grieve.

Information needed for the Arrangement Conference

Information needed for the Arrangement Conference

Information needed to complete the death certificate:

  • Full legal name (as it appears on the Social Security Card) Please Note: If someone is born in another country and has a different name, it is important to list that name also
  • Date and place of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Number of years of Education
  • Marital Status
  • Father's name and Mother's maiden name.  
  • If the person was a veteran, and military honors are requested, we will need the Form 214 DD.

Other information needed:

  • Information about burial (Cemetery) if applicable
  • For the death notice/obituary  we will gather the names and relationships of surviving family members you would like listed, along with organizations and clubs. 
  • Think about if you want to consider memorial gifts designated to a particular Church, Hospice, Library, School, Charity or Organization
  • Insurance policy information (if using to pay for funeral expenses)

Personal Items needed

There are a few personal items we may need. The need for these will also be determined by your decisions on how you will be honoring your loved one. If you have chosen burial, or for cremation services where the body is present, these items will help in preparing your loved one for the services.

  • A recent photograph (preferably within the last 2 years), this helps us to know personal features and style of hair
  • Glasses (if you would like them to be worn)
  • Clothes for your loved one to wear , including underwear for men and undergarments for women, Stockings, socks and or shoes or booties, (shoes and booties are optional)
  • Jewelry, service pins, medals (if you would like them displayed)
  • Religious items (rosary, cross, etc.) 
  • Favorite perfume or cologne
  • Lipstick or nail polish for women

If these items are not available, at the time of the arrangement, you can bring them later.