I’ve had a death in the family what do I do?
If you have just had a death, please accept our sincere condolences. We are aware of and respect the situation you are now in and we are honored to be considered to assist at this difficult time. Be assured, our staff of dedicated and trained professionals will offer expert assistance and guidance in caring for your loved one.
The next steps are somewhat dependent upon the circumstances of the death, and where it occurred. We are available 24/7 by telephone at (847) 253-0168 to answer any of your immediate questions. Below are some general guidelines:
If the death occurred in a medical or care facility:
Most hospitals and care facilities have procedures in place and staff to guide you through the process of contacting a funeral home. As part of the admitting procedures, they may have record of the funeral home and will make contact with us once their procedures are completed. We will then contact the designated representative as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
If the death occurred in a residence:
It’s if the deceased was enrolled with a hospice program, hospice should be the first contact. Hospice representative will come and handle all the initial notifications including contacting the funeral home. In most other cases the local police department will need to be contacted and make certain notifications before the deceased can be transported. Generally the responding officer will call the funeral home. Please call us (847) 253-0168, if you have any questions or need guidance on your next step.
When making initial contact with the funeral home:
The initial information the funeral home will need is:
- Legal Name of the deceased
- Their current location and is that where they passed
- Their date of birth
- Legal Next of Kin including all contact information
- Authorized representative of the Legal Next of Kin and their contact information if they can speak on behalf of the Next of Kin
- Name of Attending Physician
- Any preliminary plans you may be considering
Though there are situations that may cause a delay, we will transport your loved one to our secure facility as soon as reasonably possible. The next step is to schedule an appointment to meet, discuss and plan the remembrance. The Funeral Planning Worksheet helps our client families pull together all the vital statistics needed for reporting and filing purposes. Completing this, either transmitting on-line via our secure web site or bringing in a printed copy will be helpful.
Remembrance Planning Conference
The Funeral Planning Worksheet lists information we will need or discuss when it comes to planning a remembrance and suggested items to bring to our meeting. If you have a good idea of the type of remembrance, the intended location and/or know about cemetery or cremation arrangements, we would like that information when it is available. We ask you to not get too far along with scheduling until our director has a chance to see if there are issues that may cause a delay.
For those who have not had the chance to discuss plans with family or friends; don’t worry. Our staff is trained and experiences in offering options that will allow you to plan an appropriate and meaningful tribute to your loved one. Please don’t hesitate to call (847) 253-0168 to speak with one of our experienced professionals, or check out our FAQ’s below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why have a funeral?
Throughout history, humans have used ceremony to honor and remember loved ones unique lives and character. Formal remembrances are a time for family, friends and community to come together for emotional support, express loss, share pain and start a healthy grieving process. The focus is not on the death, but rather celebrates the life and affirms any spiritual convictions.
I’m not a member or a church, can I still have a funeral?
Yes. While many people who are members of a church or have a formal religious connection arrange a service either at their place or worship or have their clergyperson come to our Funeral Home, we do have other options. We have a number of clergy from various backgrounds who will work with you to create a meaningful and spiritual remembrance. We also work with Celebrants that use resources outside of scripture or formal religion to personalize the event and honor your loved one.
What does embalming do and is it required?
Embalming is meant to preserve a person’s remains in a more natural condition for the duration of funeral services. You usually have the right to select arrangements without the legal need for embalming. At our funeral home we require embalming for any public, open-casket viewing. For those concerned about the effects of traditional embalming chemicals, we offer eco-friendly choices.
Should I have a viewing?
While viewing of a deceased loved one has been part of funeral customs throughout the ages, there is no blanket yes or no answer that can apply to every family or situation. Many grief therapists agree, viewing remains confirms the reality of the death and aids the grieving process.
Do you handle cremation?
Yes. Cremation has been growing in popularity in recent years, currently almost 40% of our client families select cremation. For more information on cremation.
Can I have a funeral with cremation?
Yes, in fact more of our client families have a public remembrance before cremation or memorial service after, than select “Direct Cremation.” The public remembrance can include viewing. More information here.
Do I have to buy a casket with cremation?
No. Most of our client families use a “Rental Casket” with cremation when services are arranged. Though the term Rental Casket is somewhat of a misnomer, as the interior is purchased (and will contain the remains for transport to and handling by the crematory staff) and the solid wood (oak or cherry) exterior is reused. We do have economic alternatives in corrugated or pressboard covered with fabric and solid wood caskets specifically designed for cremation. For direct cremation most clients select an alternative container in place of a casket. More information here.
How much does a funeral cost?
With the amount of options and our trained staff’s ability to personalize each funeral, it is difficult to answer this question with a single dollar figure. Additionally, most of our client family’s select burial or cremation packages that offer significant discounts and the question is harder to answer with a single value. Please see our information on our General Price List and Package Options for more information.
Can I make plans in advance?
Yes, and it’s a good idea. Making decisions ahead of time allows for making choices without the added emotional burden and stress of a recent loss. It offers you the opportunity to make survivors aware of your wishes and how you’d like to be remembered. For those choosing to pre-fund, you can take comfort knowing you have relieved your family from a possible unplanned financial burden. When public assistance is possible, pre-funding makes great sense to protect assets of a future recipient by using their funds to pay for their funeral.