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Who to Call First
Whether you received a 2:00 AM phone call with news of an unexpected death or shared your loved one's final moments of a long illness, your initial reaction to the death was likely shock. It doesn't seem to matter how prepared we are — or aren't — a loved one's death often leaves us feeling numb and bewildered. If you're responsible for making the funeral arrangements, shock and grief can be immobilizing. Even simple decisions can be overwhelming.
Making the first phone calls
What to do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When someone dies in a hospital or care facility, the staff will contact you. We must hear from the family directly to obtain permission to remove your loved one from the hospital or facility. If your family member is under hospice care at home, your first call will be to the hospice nurse. When the nurse arrives, she or he will contact the Freeman Funeral Homes pursuant to your instructions. We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
You will need to notify family and friends. It may be easier on you to make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people, so the burden of spreading the news isn't all on you. If you are alone, ask someone to keep you company while you make these calls and try to cope with the first hours after the death.
Calling the Freeman Funeral Homes
Whatever the circumstances of death, one of your first calls should be to our funeral home so that we can transport the body to the funeral home. You will then come into the funeral home to finalize your arrangements.
If your loved one was working, you'll need to call his or her employer immediately. Ask about the deceased's benefits and any pay due, including vacation or sick time, disability income, etc. Ask if you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company. Ask whether there is a life insurance policy through the employer, who the beneficiary is and how to file a claim.
Call the life insurance company
Look through the deceased's paperwork for the life policy. 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 death certificate and a claimant's statement to establish proof of claim. Remember to ask about payment options. If you prefer, you can bring the insurance policy along and we will be happy to help you file your claim.