San Joaquin Funeral Planning


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San Joaquin Funeral Planning

San Joaquin Funeral Planning

If you were present during the final moments in a loved one’s life, then you’ve been fortunate. We believe that while nothing prepares you for being present at the death of a loved one, bearing witness to the death of a loved one can bring new insights into your own capacity for selfless love and caring, help you to renew or intensify bonds with other family members, find a new respect for siblings, or help in the healing of old emotional wounds. It is a priceless gift – but it’s one you may not truly value until much later.

So, Who Do You Call First?

Whether you were sitting right next to the bed, or was unfortunate to get a call at 2 a.m. with news of a death of someone you loved, chances are your first feelings were of “being numb” and confused. But, if you’re responsible for making the funeral arrangements or executing the will, you really can’t give into the shock or grief – you’ve got to move forward, and take care of things.

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.

 San Joaquin Funeral Planning

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 a licensed Funeral Director. Naturally, we’d like you to call us. But whether you choose to trust one of our funeral professionals to care for your loved one, or select a different funeral home, you should know that the Funeral Director will help you:

  • Transport the body
  • Obtain a death certificate
  • Select a casket, urn and/or grave marker
  • Arrange the funeral, memorial and/or burial service
  • Prepare and publish the obituary
  • Help notify the deceased’s employer, attorney, insurance company and banks
  • Offer grief support
  • Direct you to other resources

San Joaquin Funeral Planning

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.

Call 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.

For more information on what’s involved with funeral planning contact us.

Northern California Funeral Planning


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Immediate Need

If you have immediate need of our services, we’re available for you 24 hours a day.

Obituaries & Tributes

It is not always possible to pay respects in person, so we hope that this small token will help.

Pre-Arrangement

A gift to your family, sparing them hard decisions at an emotional time.

Order Flowers

Offer a gift of comfort and beauty to a family suffering from loss.

When You Meet with the Funeral Home

Chances are, within the first 24 hours of your loved one’s death, you will need to meet with a funeral home to begin the funeral arrangements. While you could choose to meet with us, you could also decide to meet with another funeral provider. Either way, the following information will help you prepare for what is often called “the arrangement conference.”

Without a doubt, this is a difficult time for you and your loved ones. Yet, it’s comforting to know every member of the funeral home staff will be there to do their utmost to make this difficult time a little bit easier. The Funeral Director will guide you in making all the necessary decisions. It’s good to know you are not alone.

Northern California Funeral Planning

Would You Like Someone to Go with You?

Perhaps you’d like another member of the family to come along with you. Or maybe you’d rather have a friend, or close neighbor join you in the first visit to the funeral home. While it’s not necessary to bring someone with you for moral support, it can be very beneficial.

Please don’t hesitate to ask someone to join you. Chances are they will be honored at your request, and gladly step up to help you during this time. When you ask, be sure to tell them that if they do not feel comfortable doing so, you’ll understand.

Who is Responsible for Making the Decisions?

It’s important to know exactly who is legally responsible for making the funeral arrangement decisions for a loved one. If the deceased has not expressed their wishes through a written document such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, or a Last Will and Testament, where the deceased has designated an agent to fulfill their wishes; then the chain of command is commonly as follows:

  • Legal Spouse/Partner
  • Surviving Adult Child/Children
  • Surviving Parent
  • Surviving Adult Sibling
  • Ex-Spouse
  • Parent of Minor Child

The person designated as the responsible party, whoever they may be, needs to be present to make decisions, and sign documents. If you have questions about the accepted kinship-related order of precedence, or are unclear as to who is the responsible person in funeral planning, call us.

Should Someone Else be Included in Making the Arrangements?

While assigning responsibility is an important part of funeral planning, it’s also very important to include any children, friends, or other family who would like to be a part of arranging the funeral, and perhaps share in the cost of a funeral. Despite the fact that they may not have any legal decision-making rights, their input could be very valuable to the process.

Northern California Funeral Planning

Assisting in making the final funeral arrangement decisions can be very empowering, and help someone come to terms with the loss. If there are people in your life who you feel should be asked to participate, make sure you ask them. They can always decline.

Have You Gathered the Necessary Documents?

Life and death are full of legalities. When a loved one dies, it is not just an emotional matter for those left behind; it is a legal one which requires the timely completion of paperwork. The Funeral Director will tell you that the first step in caring for your loved one involves completing, and filing, the Death Certificate and Burial or Cremation permit.

These documents need to be completed as accurately as possible and if you are not prepared with the necessary information, then most of your initial meeting will be spent retrieving this information.

To assist the funeral home in preparing all the necessary documents, it’s helpful to bring some of the following things with you:

  • Deceased’s Birth Certificate
  • Deceased’s Marriage Certificate
  • Deceased’s Military Discharge papers
  • Deceased’s Funeral pre-arrangements documents (if available)
  • Deceased Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  • Last Will and Testament and any Codicils
  • Revocable Living Trust

If you’ve got questions about the legal documents you should bring with you, please contact us.