When Death Occurs
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Death usually occurs in one of three places
1. Hospital 2. Nursing Home 3. Residence.
Hospitals & Nursing Homes
The Hospital or Nursing Home staff will ask the family which funeral home they would like to use. Then the staff will usually make the first contact with the Funeral Home. They will inform the funeral home of the death and give some initial information; name, age, address, doctor, place of death, next of kin and phone numbers. They will also indicate when the body will be released and when the funeral home should come.
When death occurs at the residence the law in Michigan states that if a doctor has not seen the deceased in the last 48 hours then the Medical Examiner must be called. The Medical Examiner may be reached by dialing 911. Inform them that a death has occurred. The exceptions to this rule are:
1. If Hospice or Visiting Nurses are involved then the Medical Examiner is not needed.
2. If the funeral home has been told by the attending doctor that he/she will sign the death certificate.
The funeral home will then come to the residence as soon as possible to take the body back to the funeral home.
The Arrangement Conference
Shortly after the funeral home receives the First Call, someone from the funeral home will contact the family and set a time for the Arrangement Conference. If the death occurred in the middle of the night this call won’t be made until the morning. At the arrangement conference the funeral director will ask for vital statistics on the deceased. The family can answer most questions easily but it is helpful to have the following information;
Date of birth
City & State of Birth
Mother’s maiden name
Social security number of the deceased
Social security number of living spouse
Veterans’ discharge papers
Survivors and spouses names and where they live
Cemetery name and grave space information
Once this information is in order the funeral director will discuss what type of funeral arrangements the family wants to have. Prices of these arrangements will be discussed at this time. Then merchandise needs to be selected after which a contract is written up for the family to sign. Payment options will be discussed at that time and a down payment may be required.