We will then set an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete the details of the funeral arrangement. We will ask you to bring in some items and information that will be necessary to complete the arrangement. These items will include:
• Clothing for the deceased
• Social security number of the deceased
• The deceased’s birth date and city and state of birth
• The deceased’s parents’ names, including mother’s maiden name
• Information about the deceased’s education
• Marital status of the deceased
• Veteran’s discharge papers or Claim Number
• A recent photograph of the deceased
• Pre-arrangement paperwork (if applicable)
• Cemetery lot information (if applicable)
2. Contact your clergy. Decide on a time and place for the funeral or memorial service (the services may be held at the funeral home).
3. The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates that you will need and will order them for you.
4. Make a list of family, friends, and business colleagues, and notify each by phone. You may wish to use a “branching” system: make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people.
5. Decide on an appropriate charity to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, organization, school).
6. Gather obituary information, including a photo, age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work and a list of survivors in the immediate family. Include the time and place of the funeral services. The funeral home will usually write the obituary and submit it to the newspaper(s).
7. Arrange for family members and close friends to take turns answering the door or phone. Keeping a careful record of visitors and flower deliveries will make it easier to thank people later on.
8. If Social Security checks are deposited automatically, notify the bank of the death.
9. Coordinate the food supply in your home for the next several days.
10. Delegate special needs of the household, such as cleaning, food preparation, etc., to friends and family who offer their help.
11. Arrange for child care, if necessary.
12. Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.
13. Select pallbearers and notify the funeral home. (People with heart or back difficulties may be named honorary pallbearers).
14. Plan for the disposition of flowers after the funeral (to a church, hospital or rest home).
15. Prepare a list of distant friends and relatives to be notified by letter and printed notice.
16. Prepare a list of people to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments, which may be a written note, printed acknowledgments, or both. Include “thank you” to those who have given their time, as well.
17. Notify insurance companies of the death.
18. Locate the will and notify the lawyer and executor.
19. Carefully check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check on possible income for survivors from these sources.
20. Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before the payments are due.
21. If the deceased was living alone, notify the utility companies and landlord and tell the post office where to send the mail.
22. Your Funeral Director will prepare the necessary Social Security forms.