Contact the funeral home. The funeral home will help coordinate many
items and give you advice. They will arrange to pickup the body after the
proper release forms have been signed. If you previously made cemetery arrangements the
funeral home will help, or if you have not previously made interment arrangements the
funeral home can assist as well.
Contact your rabbi. He/she will advice you on the religious traditions you may
wish to observe and synagogue services or memorials.
Obtain death certificates.The funeral home will assist you. A doctor or coroner must
certify the cause of death. Some information needed to complete most states vital statistic
Death place (city/county)
Mother's Maiden Name
Social Security Number
Veteran's Discharge or Claim Number
Determine obituary information. This includes age, common residence(s), place of birth,
cause of death, occupation, education/schools attended, memberships held, military service,
outstanding work, and a list of survivors in immediate family. Specify a charity(s) to which
gifts may be made. The funeral home will normally compile the information and submit it to
newspapers along with the scheduled time and place of services.
Determine who should be notified of death. Make a list of family members,
close friends, employer or business colleagues, or anyone you
believe should be notified or may want to attend the service. Notify each by phone.
Prepare a list of out of area people to be notified by letter and/or printed notice, and
decide which to send to each.
Arrange a coordinator for condolences/memorials. Arrange for someone to answer
door or phone, noting calls and memorial gifts, coordinating shiva contributors, house
Help visitors. Coordinate the supplying of food for the next several days, arrange
for child care, if necessary, arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.
Locate the will and notify lawyer and executor.
Notify insurance companies. Check carefully all life and casualty insurance
and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal,
and military/Veterans Adminstration. Check also on income for survivors from these sources.
Notify Benefits/Billing Companies. If Social Security checks are automatically
deposited notify the bank of the death. Check promptly on all debts and installment payments,
including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there
is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time
before the payments are due.
Close accounts/change address. Notify utilities, landlord, credit card companies,
banks, magazines, clubs/memberships, etc and tell post office where to send mail.
Send acknowledgments. Send appropriate acknowledgments to people who have
sent sympathies, attended the funeral, made charitable
contributions, and to those who have given their time and assistance.
The Funeral Director will prepare Social Security Form SSA 721 to see that the
deceased social security number is retired.