When Death Occurs

No matter if a death is sudden, or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one.  When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering.  The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

If the death is a non institutional death such as at the residence or work place, the local police department and the Office of the Medical Examiner will have to be contacted to review the circumstances leading up to and causing the death event.  The police will be dispatched to the home or the place of work and they will call the Office of the Medical Examiner.  Once the Medical Examiner is contacted, the office of the Medical Examiner will review the events and if need be take custody of the body to determine whether further action is necessary.  The medical examiner will then inform the funeral home when they may facilitate the removal of the remains from the Office of the Medical Examiner in the County of the Death.  Each County in New York State can appoint a Medical Examiner and procedure for removals varies greatly.  Some counties will not release remains after 5 pm weekdays, or no release is possible on the weekends.   Some Medical Examiner's offices will require a Physical ID of the remains by the authorizing agent before they can be released.  We have a working relationship with offices of the Medical Examiner within the States of New York and New Jersey and can provide you with the procedure each may employ.

If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.   Historically no police or medical examiner review would be necessary.

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

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital, nursing home or hospice will notify you immediately after a death has occurred.  If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital, nursing home or hospice prior to the death event, they will contact the funeral home on your behalf.  If the funeral home name was not given prior to the death event, you will have to call us at (845) 783-1811 or 800-750-8021 to inform us of the death event. At which time we would need the basic information to facilitate the removal from the location of death.

Meeting a Funeral Director

You should meet with a member of our staff when you are mentally & physically prepared to discuss the final arrangements for your loved one.  We strongly recommend that you come with other family members, clergy or close friends to help discuss your options.  Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state, but Tommy Flynn has over 33 years of experience dealing with these issues, and 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 all these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here the funeral services can be personalized.  Did your loved one have a favorite sports team?  What was their favorite type of music?  What activity was your loved one known best for?  Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honor the life of your loved one.