When confronted with the loss of a loved one, families are unfortunately faced with the prospect of navigating the paperwork, finances, and array of decisions involved with funeral arrangements and burials. Bartholomew Funeral Home is committed to making the process as smooth as possible and have an array of answers prepared for some of the most common questions from families who need help while grieving.
My loved one just passed, what is the first step?
If you are in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, the teams at those facilities can lead you through the proper steps to complete a death certificate. If you are at home, and an unexpected death has just occurred – take the time you need to say good-bye, contact the loved one’s doctor, then contact the funeral home to begin arranging a service once the doctor has certified the death.
What information do I need to keep the process smooth?
Always have the following information about your loved one prepared: birth date, birth place, father’s name, mother’s name, Social Security number, veteran's discharge or claim number, education, and marital status.
The funeral home can also help you write an obituary with any information you might want to include such as age, cause of death, occupation, memberships held, military service, hobbies, outstanding achievements, and survivors in the immediate family.
Who else should I contact, other than the doctor and the funeral home?
If your loved one is religious, contact the clergy to decide on a time and place for the funeral or memorial service – this can be done at the funeral home. If your loved one was receiving automatically deposited Social Security checks, contact their bank to notify them of the death.
What does a funeral director do for me?
A funeral director helps guide you and your family through every step of the funeral process once contacted. Some of the tasks they handle include the following:
- Picking up the deceased and transporting the body to the funeral home, anytime day or night
- Notifying the proper authorities and familymembers
- Arranging and preparing additional death certificates for insurance and benefit processing
- Preparing and submitting an obituary to newspapers of your choice
- Bathing and embalming the deceased’s body, if necessary
- Preparing the body for public viewing, including dressing and cosmetics
- Helping the family purchase caskets, urns, and cemetery plots
- Coordinating with clergies and cemetery personnel
- Arranging a police escort to the funeral or cemetery
- Providing bereavement services and grief support
Is there any financial assistance available to help cover the costs of a funeral?
First, determine if your loved one qualifies for any entitlements through Social Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or their State Fund. Also review all insurance policies, including life insurance, to see if there are coverage clauses for funerals.
Next, check if there are any local charities, nonprofits, or churches providing financial aid for funeral expenses.
Also consider cremation options, as these are often much less expensive.
Can I work through some of these arrangements before death?
Yes, visit www.bartholomewnewhard.com or call 219-462-4102 to pre-arrange funeral services, and help ease the burden on your family when the time comes.