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Time of Loss – First Steps


In the Event of a Death at Home or Work

If someone dies outside of a medically supervised location, call the local authorities or 911. Any death that occurs without a doctor or medical personnel present must be reported to the police.

If the deceased was under medical care, notify his/her primary care physician as soon as possible. If you do not know the physician’s name, check medical records, bills or prescription bottles.

In the Event of a Death in a Hospital, Nursing Home or Other Type of Care Facility

When someone passes away in a hospital, nursing home or other care facility, the staff of the establishment typically contacts the mortuary. Some facilities require patients to designate a mortuary as a condition of entry or care.

When Death Appears Imminent

If a person is failing rapidly and death is imminent, please inform the primary care physician that the designated mortuary will call him/her for certification purposes after death occurs. The acting mortuary will need to obtain the attending doctor’s signature quickly so a burial/transit permit can be secured in a timely manner.

Organ donors will need additional time factored into final planning.

What to do if shipment of the deceased is required

Hillside has an outstanding professional reputation for shipping remains. As a member of Jewish Funeral Directors of America (JFDA), Hillside is an expert in expedient mortuary shipping throughout the U.S. and Canada. This widespread network enables us to assist families transporting their loved ones to and from Hillside.

Information Needed when Death Occurs:

  • Health Care Directive if you are not the legal next of kin.
  • Vital information related to the deceased such as social security number, date of birth, family member names, place of birth.
  • Secure Veterans Honors for funeral.
  • Number of death certificates needed.

Other issues to consider:

  • Will cemetery property need to be purchased?
  • When should the funeral be scheduled?
  • Will there be an obituary and, if so, who will write it?
  • Will a Taharah and/or Shomer be needed?
  • Who will be speaking at the funeral?
  • Will pictures be displayed at the funeral?
  • Will there be special music (CD or live)?
  • Will video montages or short films be used (DVD)?
  • Will flowers be ordered?
  • Will a limousine be needed?
  • What clothing will be provided for burial?
  • Will cosmetics be used?
  • Will hair be styled in a particular fashion?
  • Will there be a reception following the funeral?

Download the Time of Loss – What Needs to be Done PDF