When Death Occurs

No matter if a death is sudden, or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one.  When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering.  The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.

When death occurs at home

If the person was not under hospice care, the first phone call must be to "911." Once the proper authorities arrive, they will make the determination as to whether or not the coroner must be notified.  If the circumstances of death were anything other than natural, the coroner will take the person to their facility for further investigation.  If the death was natural and the person was under the care of a doctor, in most cases the coroner will not take jurisdiction and you will be able to call a mortuary for pickup.

If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will instruct you on the procedures to follow.

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. It is important that you notify the facility immediately of your choice of mortuary.  If it is a hospital, it is likely that they will require the legal next-of-kin to sign an authorization for the mortuary to make removal.

Contacting a Mortuary

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a licensed funeral establishment.  In different parts of the country,  funeral establishments are know as mortuaries, funeral homes, funeral chapels, or funeral parlors.  In Southern California, the most common term is "mortuary."  Regardless of what you call it, the mortuary is responsible for all that occurs from the time of death through the burial.  This includes the transportation and preparation of the deceased, the legal documentation, and the coordination with clergy, and the cemetery, and running the funeral ceremony. 

Making Funeral Arrangements

At Malinow and Silverman Mortuary, regardless of where one's cemetery property is located, we will gladly come to your home or place of business, at the time of your choosing,  to make all funeral arrangements. At that time, we will go over all of the necessary details to prepare for the funeral ceremony and burial or cremation.  In that meeting, we will be collecting the necessary information to complete the California Certificate of Death, and guide you through the myriad of choices and decisions that need to be made. 

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