Planning Funeral Services

Funeral Planning - When a Death Occurs 

What should you do if a death occurs?

If a death occurs unexpectedly: Do not assume the person is dead. Contact 911 or your local emergency rescue service, whether it be a fire department or an exchange ambulance. 

If an expected death occurs at home and the deceased is a hospice patient: Contact the hospice agency first. Once the hospice has been notified, contact our funeral home and advise us that you have informed hospice and you would like Overton Funeral Home to handle the arrangements. A funeral director is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Once the hospice nurse has made a pronouncement of death, your funeral director may be contacted to come to the home. When the surviving family members have had the opportunity to say their good-byes, the funeral director will bring the deceased to the funeral home. The funeral director will arrange a time for you to complete the arrangements.

If an expected death occurs in a hospital or nursing home: The survivors will be notified, and in most cases the survivors will have the opportunity to spend time with the deceased one last time. In this case time is not critical, but you may notify the funeral director of the death and request the removal of the deceased happen as soon as possible. When the funeral director is notified, you will be asked for the name, address and phone number of the next of kin as well as the location of the deceased. You may also be asked some other related questions such as the following: 

• Do you plan to have a viewing? 
• Do you give permission for embalming if there is to be an open casket? 
• Have you thought about burial or cremation? 

While burial has long been considered the traditional form of final disposition, cremation has now become a popular and, to many families, a preferred way, to handle the disposition of a loved one. Many families opt to have a traditional open casket visitation followed by a religious service, but instead of proceeding to a cemetery, their loved one will be brought to the crematory. Some families choose to simply have what is known as a direct, or immediate, cremation. There is still the opportunity to say goodbye to your loved one prior to the cremation if you choose this option. Please ask one of our funeral directors for more information on planning for a cremation ceremony, a burial, or even for a memorial service after the disposition has taken place. We will answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns.

The Arrangement Conference

Since for many of us, years pass between the losses of loved ones, it is difficult to know what information is needed and what items to bring with you to the funeral home when making arrangements. Because of this, we have created an all-inclusive list that will serve you well whether you're interested in cremation services or standard funeral arrangements. This list may be found below.

For more information about what’s required for a death certificate, click here
Items to bring with you to the funeral home: 

• Clothing for your loved one, including undergarments
• A picture of your loved one
• Jewelry (it can be returned to you after the funeral)
• Personal items that can be placed in the casket or in viewing room
• Military Honorable Discharge paperwork (if your loved one was a US Armed Forces veteran) 
• Deed to the cemetery (or at least grave location) 
• Insurance policies (if you plan to assign proceeds to funeral home) 
Items you may be asked about:

• Selection of prayer cards/ service folders
• Selection of floral arrangements
• Selection of acknowledgement cards (thank-you cards)
• Selection of a register book for visitors to sign
• Selection of an urn
• Selection of an outer burial container
• Selection of a religious service 
• Selection of fraternal services 
• Number of days and hours of visiting 
• Use of limousines 
• Use of pallbearers 
• Disposition of ashes if there is to be a cremation 
• Obituary/Death Notice 
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