What To Do When Death Occurs
Contact the funeral home as soon as a death has occurred. A time will be set up with the funeral director to come in and make arrangements. The funeral home will help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery, church and clergy.
You will need to provide the following information to complete the State of Oklahoma vital statistic requirements for the death certificate.
- Full Name of Deceased
- Birth Date
- Birthplace-City and State
- Father’s Name
- Mother’s Name (including maiden)
- Social Security Number
- Discharge papers, if veteran
- Spouse’s name (maiden name)
- Place of Burial or Disposition
- Education Level
A Brief Checklist
- The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates you will need and we will get these for you.
- Contact immediate family, close friends and employer or business colleagues.
- Locate deceased’s prepaid funeral contract and insurance policies.
- Gather obituary information, including college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work, list of survivors in immediate family. The funeral home will normally wirte the article and submit to local newspapers. Please be aware that local newspapers may charge for this service.
- Serenity Funeral Home will notify Social Security for you. **The $255 dollar death benefit is payable ONLY if there is a surviving spouse, or a child under 18 or a disabled child. You will need to call Social Security in a week or so to apply for this and other benefits.
- If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death.
- Arrange for members of family of close friends to take answering door or phone, keep record of calls. Try not to leave the home unattended during this time, including during the services.
- Consider specials needs of the household, such as cleaning or shopping for items such as trash bags or paper goods, which might be done by friends.
- Arrange for childcare, if necessary.
- Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.
- Select pallbearers and notify the funeral home.
- Plan for disposition of flowers after funeral. Normally all cut flower arrangements are left at the graveside and the cards are delivered to the family
- Prepare list of distant persons to be notified by letter and/or printed notice, and decide which to send to each.
- Send appropriate acknowledgements to those who have sent flowers, brought food, or gave their time to be of service (can be a written note or printed ackowledgments). It is not necessary to send an acknowledgement card to every person who signed the register. You may if you wish, but people do not expect to be acknowleged for simply signing the registry. They don’t want to cause an added burden.
- Locate the will and notify lawyer and executor.
- Check carefully all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check also on income for survivors from the sources.
- Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before the payments are due.
- If deceased was living alone, notify utilities and landlord and tell the post office where to send the mail.