Whether death is sudden or expected, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. The following is a guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.
When Death Occurs At Home
If the person was not under hospice care, the first phone call must be to “911.” Once the proper authorities arrive, they will make the determination as to whether or not the Medical Examiner must be notified. If the circumstances of death were anything other than natural, the Medical Examiner will take the deceased to their facility for further investigation. If the death was natural and the deceased was under a doctor’s care, in most cases the Medical Examiner will not take jurisdiction and you may then call the funeral home for the removal of the deceased to the funeral home facility.
If the person was under hospice care but hospice was not present at the time of death, contact the hospice representative who will then instruct you on the procedure to follow.
When a Death Occurs At a Hospital/Nursing Home/Hospice Facility
The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. It is important that you notify that facility immediately of your choice of a funeral home. If death occurs in a hospital, they may require the legal next-of-kin to sign an authorization for the funeral home to make the removal of the deceased.
Contacting The Funeral Home
Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, Brezniak-Rodman should be called. In Massachusetts, the funeral home is responsible for all that occurs from the time of death through the burial. This includes transportation and preparation of the deceased, the legal documentation, coordination with clergy and cemetery, and directing the funeral service.
Making Funeral Arrangements
At Brezniak-Rodman Funeral Directors, regardless of where one’s cemetery property is located, most of the time arrangements will take place at the funeral home. At that time, we will go over all of the necessary details to prepare for the funeral service and burial or cremation. During that meeting, we will collect the information to complete the Massachusetts Certificate of Death, and guide you through the myriad of choices and decisions that need to be made. If you call the funeral home prior to death, a funeral director may guide you to the Information Sheet tab on our website, where you may submit the statistical information electronically.