IMMEDIATE NEED

"From the community, and for the community."

Get Immediate Help When You're in Need

To start, we're very sorry for your loss. We hope the information found here is helpful to you during this difficult time. We're here for you to provide valuable insights on many important issues, such as the kinship order of precedence as it relates to making funeral arrangements and a list of who should be contacted immediately.

For additional information or to request a free consultation, please don't hesitate to contact us at Serenity Funeral Homes.

A Death Has Occurred

If you were present during the final moments in your loved one's life, you have been fortunate. Nothing prepares you for being present at the death of a loved one, but the experience can bring new insights into your own capacity for selfless love and caring.

Experiencing the passing of a loved one can renew or intensify bonds with other family members, help siblings find a new respect for each other, or help heal old emotional wounds. These gifts are often difficult to see at first and their value is often not truly seen until much later.
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Who to Call First

Whether you were sitting next to the bed when your loved one passed on or received a call at 2 in the morning, the most common initial responses are being "numb" and confused. However, if you're responsible for making funeral arrangements or executing the will, it's important to not let the shock and grief consume you.

You need to move forward and take care of things that need to be done.

What you need to do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When a death occurs in a nursing home or hospice, the staff will usually contact the funeral home on your behalf. If you prefer, you may make this call yourself.

If you're present at the time of death, the staff should give you and other family members the opportunity to say your goodbyes before we transfer your loved one into our care.

If you were not present, the nursing home or hospice should ask you if you wish to visit before we're called. If the death has occurred at home and was unexpected, please call 911. If it was an expected death, your palliative care team should be notified.

If the death occurs in a hospital, you must call the funeral home. Hospitals don't contact funeral homes on your behalf, even if they sometimes tell families that they will.

After we receive a call, you or a designated family member or friend will need to notify others. We find that it makes it easier if you limit yourself to just a few phone calls to other family members or close friends, and ask them to make a call or two to specific people. This way the burden of spreading the news doesn't all fall on you.

If you're facing this situation alone, ask a friend or neighbor to keep you company while making these calls. It may make it easier to cope with the first hours after the death.

When you call us, we'll walk you through all the information you need to gather and will set up a time to meet and go through the arrangement conference. This arrangement can be made at Serenity Funeral Homes LLC, or we can come to your home if that's easier for you.

When you initially call us, we'll discuss any questions or concerns you have and will ensure you're prepared for the next steps. After our discussion, we'll make preparations to transfer your loved one from the place of death to our funeral home.
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Call the Employer If Necessary

If your loved one was employed, you'll need to call their employer immediately to let them know of the passing and the resulting change in their staffing arrangements. Later on, (most likely when the funeral is over) you should ask about the deceased's benefits and any pay which is owed to them, including vacation or sick time.

Ask if you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company. You also might ask if there is a life insurance policy through the employer, who the beneficiary is and how to file a claim.
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Call the Life Insurance Company

If your loved one had a life insurance policy, you'll need to locate any related paperwork. Call the agent or company and ask how to file a claim. Usually, the beneficiary or the beneficiary's guardian must complete the claim forms and related paperwork.

We're often asked to assist in making the initial calls to the insurance company, and we're happy to do so on your behalf.

You'll need to submit a certified copy of the death certificate and a claimant's statement to establish proof of the claim. Ask about payment options. You may have the opportunity to choose to receive a lump sum and having the insurance company place the money in an interest-bearing account from which you can write checks.
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