Let us take a moment to say we are sorry for your loss. We hope that you will find this area of our website helpful in this difficult time.
If you are looking for information on what to do now that a death has occurred, this section of our site is a good place to start. It includes 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 you need to contact immediately. As always, if you would prefer to speak to someone directly, please call us at 705-932-5300.
A Death has Occurred
When a loved one or family member passes our emotions are often overwhelming. Making important decisions while grieving can be difficult. Let us give you some important information that will be helpful to you and your family.
So, Who Do You Call First?
When someone dies, what you do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When the death occurs in a hospital or similar care facility, the staff will usually take care of some arrangements, such as contacting the funeral home you choose, and if necessary, arranging an autopsy.
However, you or a designated family member or friend will need to notify others. We’ve found it will make it easier on you if just a few phone calls are made to other relatives or friends, where you ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people. In that way, the burden of spreading the news isn't all on you.
And if you are facing this situation alone, then ask a friend or neighbor to keep you company while you make these calls. In that way, you’ll be better able to cope with the first hours after the death.
One of the first calls which should be made is to the funeral home. Our staff will help guide you through the following:
- Bringing your loved one into our care
- Obtaining a death certificate
- Selecting a casket, urn and/or grave marker
- Arranging the funeral, memorial and/or burial service
- Preparing and publishing the obituary
- Help with notifing the deceased's employer, attorney, insurance company and banks
- Direct you to other resources
Contact the Employer
Was your loved one employed? Then, you'll need to call his or her employer immediately, to let them know of the passing, and the resulting change in their staffing arrangements.
At some later point (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.
Also ask if you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company. And, you might ask whether there is a life insurance policy through the employer, who the beneficiary is, and how to file a claim.
Contact the Life Insurance Company
If your loved one had a life insurance policy, locate the related paperwork. Call the agent or the company and ask how to file a claim. Usually the beneficiary (or the beneficiary's guardian, if a minor) must complete the claim forms and related paperwork.
You'll need to submit a certified copy of the death certificate and a claimant's statement to establish proof of claim. Remember to ask about payment options. You may have a choice between receiving a lump sum, and the having the insurance company place the money in an interest-bearing account from which you can write checks.