Customer Service: 1-800-493-8001

What to Do When Someone Dies

Death is a traumatic experience, even when you know it is going to happen. When a loved one passes away, there are things must happen, a process, things you must do. The more you prepare ahead of time, the less you will have to deal with when the time comes, but sometimes that isn’t an option.

When a death occurs, these are the steps you need to take:

Payment Policies

Our general payment policy is that payment be made in full prior to any of services being rendered. We regrettably are not able to accept life insurance assignments, or settlement of estates through probate as a means of payment. For your convenience, we offer the following payment options.

State Laws Regarding a Death

Generally, the deceased cannot be removed from the place of death without a pronouncement of death signed by a physician. However, a registered nurse can release the deceased to the Cremation Society if the death was anticipated. RSA 611:4 also states that deaths occurring under certain circumstances must be referred to the State Medical Examiner who will then be responsible for legally releasing the deceased to the Cremation Society.

General Guidelines

When a death occurs, it is vital that the family call us as soon as possible. The time and location of death do not matter; we are available 24 hours a day. You do not need to contact a local funeral home; we will walk you through the process and handle the details. When you call us, we will ask you several questions, such as the name and location of the family member who passed away, the name of the attending physician and the name of the next of kin. If you aren’t sure what type of service you want, you do not need to make any immediate decisions. We will allow you adequate time to consider your options and provide you with information and the prices of various services to assist you. Finally, we will set up a convenient appointment so we can assist you in making the actual arrangements by phone. You can also make all the arrangements on-line  at the time of death.

Death in a Healthcare Facility

When a death occurs in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice facility, call us. There is little more beyond that for you to do. The medical staff at the health care facility will take the necessary steps to ensure that all legal requirements are met. Although some healthcare facilities will call the Cremation Society on behalf of the family, this is the exception rather than the rule. To be on the safe side, it is best if the family calls us directly.

Anticipated Death Outside a Health Care Facility

Many people with terminal illnesses are now choosing to die at home in more familiar and peaceful surroundings, with family and friends close by. If an anticipated death occurs outside a health care facility, the first call should be to the hospice organization or physician who was treating the individual. The hospice nurse or physician will then release the deceased to the Cremation Society and we will take it from there.

Unanticipated Death Outside a Healthcare Facility

If an unanticipated death occurs outside of a healthcare facility, the family must call 911 immediately to dispatch local police to the location. The police will determine the appropriate next steps, depending upon the particulars of the situation. If the death is not suspicious, the police will contact State Medical Examiner’s office and await instructions. The Medical Examiner may require an autopsy, especially if the death was suspicious.

Out of State Death

If the death takes place outside of New Hampshire, you do not need to contact a local funeral director in the state where the death occurs. This will usually incur additional, needless expenses. Instead, call us. We have a network of family-owned funeral homes throughout the country and we can work with them to make all the necessary arrangements. Simply call our toll-free number 1-800-493-8001, and we will handle the details. We also offer Nationwide Travel Protection that guarantees the price of your final arrangements no matter where in the country the death occurs.

Advance Arrangements

If the death of a family member is anticipated, it is wise to begin thinking about the final arrangements as far in advance as possible. If you have the opportunity to discuss their final wishes it will make it much easier to plan the services. We often speak with the family prior to the death because this allows us to answer questions, discuss services, and begin gathering the necessary information for when the death occurs. This allows the family to make the many important decisions without the added pressure of dealing with the loss of a loved one. When you are ready to begin the arrangement process, you can start the process by becoming a member online or requesting a membership form.

Estate Settlement Services

Personal and Estate Settlement Services

This service is available for all families. Estate and identity theft prevention experts provide fast, convenient guidance with families through a range of post-death needs.

Become a Member Now

Click the button at right to become a member. Start the membership process by selecting a cremation package.