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My Loved One Passed Away. Who Do I Call?

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who_do_i_callLosing someone you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. The pain of loss can feel overwhelming causing you to experience a wide array of unexpected emotions—from anger to disbelief, from guilt to sadness. It’s a natural response to loss, but it often puts you in a spot where you aren’t sure what to do next. 

Depending on the circumstances of how, when or where your loved one passes, you may be unsure who to contact first. Do you call family? 911? A funeral home? 

Below you will find several common scenarios with answers on who you should call in those instances.

Who Do I Call If Death Occurs at Home?

In the event that a death occurs at home and your loved one was not under hospice care, the first step is contacting a professional who can confirm the person has a physician willing to sign a death certificate. To do this, either call 911 or a funeral home immediately after the individual passes. If you chose to call 911, your loved one may be transported to an emergency room for a medical professional to officially declare a death. From there, your loved one will be transported into the care or your funeral home of choice by the funeral home staff.

Remember that without a death certificate, you will not be able to handle any legal affairs.

Who Do I Call If No One Was Present During a Death?

There is a chance that when a loved one passes, someone may not be there when it happens. In this case, notify the police immediately. They will respond to the home before releasing your loved one into the care of a funeral home or medical examiner.

Who Do I Call If a Loved One Passes Under Hospice Care?

If your loved one passes and was receiving hospice care at home, call the hospice nurse or caregiver. Hospice can help guide you in notifying your funeral home of choice. 

Hospice also has the ability to declare a death, and can provide a funeral home with the details needed to help alleviate some of your burden (ex: time, location or cause of death).

Who Do I Call If Someone Passes While Traveling?

The event of someone passing away while traveling is possible.  

In this event, call a local funeral home first. They will serve as your advisor and agent, and will work with other professionals long-distance to coordinate the many services required, such as: 

  • Moving your loved one from the place of death.
  • Appropriate transportation preparation (air or ground).
  • Arrangement of required documents. 

A death away from home is usually unexpected, but anyone who travels should take into account the possibility of it occurring while on a trip. Understand that your local funeral home will be able to walk you through the process, so give them a call.

Who Do I Call If Someone Passes at Work?

When a death occurs in the workplace, you or a co-worker should contact emergency personnel right away. The emergency personnel will contact the local medical examiner. If you loved one died of natural causes, they will contact the funeral home of your choice.

This is one of the reasons it is extremely important to have emergency contacts listed for you in a workplace. Your employer should ensure they’re stored somewhere in the office that can be easily accessed by everyone.

Who Do I Call If Prearrangements Were Made?

There is a chance your loved one made final arrangements prior to their passing. In that case, you will want to call the funeral home where they made plans to find out what the first steps are going to be.

Did you move out of state or to another local area? You have the option to transfer the prearrangements to another funeral home closer to you. Additional reasons you may be considering transferring their plan include:

  • Previous funeral home comes under new ownership.
  • Prefer the experience and care of another funeral home.
  • Previous funeral home goes out of business.

Under Ohio Law, all prearranged plans are 100% transferrable at any time.

Who Do I Call If No Final Arrangements Were Planned?

Loss can happen to anyone, at any place and any time. When a loved one passes, the surviving family is generally left to decide on final arrangements, including:

  • Final disposition method (burial or cremation).
  • A final celebration of life (ex: funeral, memorial, gathering).
  • Final resting place (traditional cemetery, green burial, scattering of cremated remains, etc.).

If no final arrangements were preplanned or documented, you’ll want to first start by selecting a funeral home that can handle the above. Many families select a funeral home based on location or past experiences, but remember to consider facility upgrades, overall service offerings, staff professionalism and online reviews.

Important Information You Will Need When Making First Calls

Regardless of where or when a loss took place, the party you contact first will need the following important information about your loved one: 

  • Name.
  • Deceased’s home address.
  • Deceased’s social security number.
  • Current location of deceased.
  • Physician name and phone number.
  • Your name.
  • Your home address.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your relationship to the deceased.

If in any case you are not sure who to notify or what to do, you may contact Busch Funeral and Crematory Services and we will assist you in getting in touch with the proper parties.

Arrange Services with Our Caring Staff

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services wants to help you plan a meaningful funeral service that is as unique as the life lived.

To ensure that any special requests, final wishes and defined budgets are met, contact Busch to let a member of our caring staff guide you through every step. No matter your request, we will work hard to fulfill your memorial service needs.

Contact us for funeral planning.

Robert Solich
Robert Solich
Thirty years of experience helping people on the hardest day of their lives, and one of Busch's longest-standing staff members. Bob provides valuable guidance to families with his expertise and compassion. He serves on two non-profit boards in the greater Cleveland area, promoting healthcare and the arts. Proudly serving Busch families since 1983.

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