When Death Occurs

Sometimes death is sudden, and other times we are able to prepare. Either way, the loss of a loved one can make us feel emotional and overwhelmed. During this stressful time, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. The following is a rough guideline of what should be done within the first 24 hours following death.

When death occurs at home or non-staffed location

If the person was not under hospice care, the police must be notified immediately.  The police will be dispatched to the home, where they will coordinate with the coroner/medical examiner.  The coroner/medical examiner must then determine whether further action is necessary. Upon release from the coroner/medical examiner, we can take your loved one into our care.  

If the person was under hospice care, your representative will assist with the next steps. If your representative was not present at the time of death, contact them, and they will notify you of the proper procedures to follow. 

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility

Care facility staff at either a hospital or nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death. If a funeral home has not already been provided, and you would like to use Mt. Baker Cremation's services, you should immediately notify the facility of your decision.

Informing a Funeral Director

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a licensed funeral director.  Funeral directors are available to help you obtain death certificates, transport the body, select caskets and urns, and arrange the funeral/memorial service. They can also assist with notifying the employer and insurance company of the deceased and assist with any necessary arrangements. Funeral directors are here to advise you, in an effort to relieve the stress involved in funeral planning.

Meeting a Funeral Director

You should meet with a funeral director within 24 hours of a death to begin to make final arrangements for your loved one.  Deciding on these final arrangements may seem daunting at such an emotional time, but our staff have years of experience dealing with grieving families, and we strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements

First the Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address
  • Marital Status
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Date and City of Birth
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Occupation and Employer

The funeral director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, those documents include:

  • Account Statements
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Real Estate Deeds
  • Car and Boat Deeds
  • Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  • Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Loans and Leases
  • Copies of Bills (Hydro, Cable, Phone etc.)
  • Last Will
  • Tax Returns

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service.  These include:

  • Scheduling the location, date and time of the visitation and funeral service
  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Choosing Funeral Products
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

A funeral director will guide you through each of these steps and discuss your all of your options in order to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here, you can further personalize the service. Did your loved one have a favorite sports team?  What was their favorite song or type of music? Did they have a favorite hobby or pastime? Recalling fond memories will aid in the grieving process and honors the life of your loved one.

Have a question? Ask the Director