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We have found over the years that when a death occurs, many families are not clear on what immediate steps should be taken.


It can be a highly emotional and confusing time when a loved one passes. For that reason, we have listed the immediate key steps that should be taken to ensure proper care for your loved one.

  1. If there is an unexpected death in your home, call 911 immediately. Upon arrival, the medical team will provide specific instruction on next steps. If your loved one was under hospice care, call the hospice immediately and they will take charge of the situation.
  2. As soon as possible, contact close family and friends, the deceased's physician (if a hospice is not involved), and the deceased's lawyer. If the deceased cared for any dependents, make arrangements immediately for their safe care.
  3. Look for any written instructions (Letter of Instruction, Final Instructions, Disposition Authorization) for funeral or memorial service arrangements and burial or cremation arrangements. Determine if the deceased named a "Designated Agent" to take care of the arrangements. Also determine if the deceased left any direction on donating organs or tissue upon their death.
  4. If you are the Designated Agent (or if there is none and you are taking responsibility), please contact us to schedule an arrangement conference to determine final arrangements.



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