Where to Begin?

Where to Begin?

This can feel overwhelming. Know that we are here to support you throughout this journey and make this process one of love, healing, and life celebration. Below is some information to help you get started. Contact us at any time as you need help.


If a death has occurred, know that we are here for you. If you have not already done so, please call us now so that we may begin assisting you immediately. We can be reached at 248-362-2500 (Crooks Rd., Troy), 248-549-0500 (Woodward Ave., Royal Oak) or 248-689-0700 (Rochester Rd., Troy). When you need immediate assistance, you need to contact us by phone. A staff member is always available to answer your call. 

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. We often assist families before a death has occurred, so please reach out as needed.

If you are gathering information, we encourage you to look throughout this website. For more information, please call, email or visit us.


Within the First Few Days

  • If you haven’t already, call us at 248-362-2500 (Crooks Rd., Troy), 248-549-0500 (Woodward Ave, Royal Oak) or 248-689-0700 (Rochester Rd., Troy). If you are out of town, call 800-210-7135 (Crooks Rd., or Rochester Rd., Troy) or 800-210-7135 (Woodward Ave., 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.

To Prepare to Meet With Us

  • Gather the necessary information to complete the State vital statistic requirements.
    • Birth Date
    • Birthplace
    • Father's Name
    • Mother's Maiden Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Veteran's Discharge or Claim Number, if applicable
    • Education
    • Marital Status
    • Occupation
  • If there is to be a viewing, select clothing for your loved one. Men are typically dressed in a suit and women in something similarly formal. If formal dress isn't your loved one's style, choose something that would be worn for a special occasion. So that your loved one is fully dressed, bring in traditional undergarments, including socks. Shoes are optional. Jewelry can be used and then returned to the family. Please ask the director as questions arise.
  • 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 or a shortened version to the newspapers. 
  • Please bring in a recent photo for the obituary and if desired, the visitation.

What to Expect When We Meet

When you meet with a funeral director to discuss your arrangements, you will be asked about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one's life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. We will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one's life. We will review costs with you throughout so that everything is within your desired budget.

This process will include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling any services and events (including the location, date, and time)
  • Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
  • Drafting an obituary
  • Arranging necessary transportation

During the Next Few Days

  • If necessary, arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends. A friend or another family member can help with this.
  • 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. There is some lifting, so anyone with heart or back difficulties can be an honorary pallbearer.
  • Be sure family residences are secure.

In the first week or so

  • We notify Social Security of the death. Check with Social Security to see that all benefits are received and the number is retired. Visit Social Security Benefits for more information.
  • If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death.
  • 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. We will assist in providing acknowledgement cards.
  • 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.
  • Do not provide any personal information over the phone unless you have verified the trustworthiness of the caller. No matter how convincing the request, never provide Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver license number or any account numbers.
  • Please contact us whenever you need any assistance. We can answer many questions and provide support to ease your burden.

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