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.
What to do in the Event of a Death
DEATH AT HOME
When 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 CARE
When 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 HOME
If 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 STATE
When 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.
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.