What To Do When A Death Occurs
We know this is a difficult time. Rest assured we will take excellent care of you and your family.
If a death has occurred, we are very sorry for your loss. If you have not already done so, please call us now so that we may begin assisting you immediately.
If a death is imminent, please review this page and our entire website for valuable information. As you need additional information or assistance, please call us.
If you are gathering information, we encourage you to look throughout this website. For more information, please call, email or visit us and we will assist you.
In the first few hours after a death:
- Call us at 248-362-2500 (Troy) or 248-549-0500 (Royal Oak). If you are out of town, call 800-210-7135 (Troy) or 800-294-5668 (Royal Oak). We are always available and ready to assist.
- If desired, contact your clergy. This can also be done while you are at the funeral home making arrangements.
- Make a list of immediate family and close friends to notify. Ask a close relative or friend to help with phone calls and messages.
- Gather the necessary information to complete the State vital statistic requirements:
- Birth Date
- Father's Name
- Mother's Maiden Name
- Social Security Number
- Veteran's Discharge or Claim Number, if applicable
- Marital Status
- Select clothing for deceased. Men are typically dressed in a suit and women in something similarly formal. Bring in traditional undergarments, including socks. Shoes are optional. Jewelry can be returned to the family. Please ask the director if you have questions.
- If desired, decide on an appropriate organization to which memorial gifts may be made (church, hospice, charity, school, etc.).
- Gather obituary information. In addition to the above, include military service, academic, professional, and civic achievements and recognitions, memberships, and a list of immediate family. We will host obituary information on our website; you can write it or we will. If desired, we will submit the obituary to the newspapers. Please bring in a photo (we will return it).
- If there is going to be a public viewing, please bring in a recent photo. (It may be the same as the obituary photo.)
- If you would like to begin making arrangements now, please visit START ARRANGEMENTS.
- Take some quiet time for yourself.
During the next few days
- If necessary, arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.
- Consider the particular needs of the household, such as meals, cleaning, yard work, childcare, etc., which might be done by friends.
- Ask family and friends for assistance.
- Select pallbearers. (Anyone with heart or back difficulties can be an honorary pallbearer).
In the first week or so
- If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death. We will prepare and submit Social Security Form SSA 721. Check with Social Security to see that the number is retired. Visit SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS for more information.
- 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 these sources. Notify insurance companies. If a veteran, visit VETERANS SERVICES AND BENEFITS for more information.
- Prepare a list of those to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments (can be written note, printed acknowledgments, or some of each). Include thank yous to those who have given their time as well.
- 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 the deceased was living alone, notify utilities and landlord and tell the post office where to send mail.
- Please contact us whenever you need any assistance.