What should you do if someone dies at home……

     What should your do if someone should die at home?

The police should be called first unless the decedent’s physician was in attendance or if the death occurred due to unknown circumstances.  The coroner or medical examiner will need to be notified to officially pronounce the death.

Family members, or whomever is to be legally responsible for the final disposition of the deceased, should be notified.  A funeral director needs to be called as soon as possible to transfer the body from the place of death to the funeral home.

Your funeral director (Call Calumet Park Funeral Chapel 736-5840 for more information) will need to know if there will be a viewing and visitation.  If so, you will be asked for permission to embalm.

There is a certain amount of information that you will be asked

for when you come in for your arrangement conference with your funeral director.  The name of the deceased and his or her permanent address  are two of the most obvious.  Other information that will be needed are a social security number, time of death when known (official time as declared by the coroner or medical personnel), current location of the body (home or hospital or other address), the name of the attending physician and phone number, your name and the name of the person who is legally able to make the final arrangements, that person’s address and telephone number(s) and their relationship to the deceased.   Cell phone numbers are as important as home numbers in this day and age.

It will help your funeral director in expediting the getting of  death certificates and the processing of all the legal requirements if you have the date of birth, place of birth, copy of military discharge papers such as a DD214 (when decedent was a veteran), any life insurance policies if you intend to use them to pay for the funeral, burial clothing , including undergarments and shoes and socks, and the name and phone number of clergy if you want a person of the cloth to be in attendance at the funeral service.

     Quite often a “power-of-attorney” dies with the person who passed away unless the wording is correct in that it allows for disposition of the mortal remains of the person in question.  Properly written, a health care power-of-attorney with rights for final dispensation supersedes the authority of a spouse, and a Funeral Planning Declaration takes the highest authority over all others when properly executed.  (For information on this relatively new law, contact us and we will provide the forms for free.  It is wise to include this declaration in your estate planning, and give a copy to your funeral director and to your cemetery of choice.  If you have an attorney, ask for advice regarding this new law).

Simply put, a Funeral Planning Declaration allows anyone over the age of 18 the right and ability to have their exact wishes carried out and was designed to help a person insure they get things the way they want when a spouse or other family members have a different philosophy of what should happen when a death occurs.

A recent photo is helpful when an open casket is planned for visitation to allow your funeral director to prepare your loved one for how you expect them to look.  Some thought should be given to what you would like to have included in an obituary including the correct spelling of all names.    Contact us at dmoran@calumetparkcemetery.com for more information regarding what to do in the event of a death.  A positive identification must be made when you select Calumet Park Funeral Chapel to avoid any undue stress due to any uncertainty as to our having the right person in our custody.

If you have pre-arrangements with a funeral home or a cemetery, try to locate the paperwork and bring it in for your arrangement conference with your funeral director and when you go to the cemetery to sign an interment order.  If you have not prearranged, we invite you to look at many of the other posts in this blog/Facebook to fully appreciate the beauty that is Calumet Park Cemetery.

An interment order is required by most cemeteries which ensures that the right grave will be opened for the burial and to ascertain who the legal authority will be to authorize the grave to be opened (must be the property owner) and that the correct person is present to authorize the final disposition of the deceased.  Quite often, these are the same person.  However, when one person gives permission for another to be buried in one of their graves, written permission must be given.  And, as was already mentioned above, a signature must be secured from the person at the highest level of authority regarding final disposition.

Generally speaking, an investigation of a death by the coroner may be called for when a death occurs when nobody else was present at the time of death, when a doctor is unable to state the cause of death, accidental deaths, suspicious deaths with the possibility of suicide or homicide and any unusual circumstances surrounding a death.  Deaths that may have a connection to poisoning, drowning, fire and sudden infant death syndrome will fall under the province of the coroner’s office.  Death as a result of medical procedures or occupational tragedies that result in death will be investigated also.  This is not an all inclusive list, but it covers most of the bases.

  Remember:  Calumet Park Cemetery and Funeral Chapel offers a free grave to every veteran, at-need or pre-need, along with huge savings on funeral services, caskets, vaults and opening/closing, and we have one of the lowest prices in the region for direct cremations (free grave goes with every cremation to ensure that the mortal remains of your loved one will have a place of dignity in which to rest for all time.

Thank you for visiting this site.  If you find the information to be useful, pass it on to your friends on Facebook, Twitter or even the old fashioned way… called word of mouth.

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