When Death Occurs

Whether a death is sudden or expected, the loss of a loved one is indescribable. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. This section seeks to guide you through the immediate hours following a passing.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

If your loved one has passed away at a private residence you must first call the local paramedics. They will then contact the RCMP, the Family Doctor and/or the Medical Examiner to determine if the body can be released to the funeral home or if transport will be required to a hospital for further examination by a medical examiner. You can inform the paramedics of the funeral home you wish to deal with and they will contact us once they have instructions from the Medical Examiner or Doctor.

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility

The staff of a care facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of passing. If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased's wishes and set up a time to make arrangements. If you are not present, a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements

Informing a Funeral Director

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a Funeral Home. Funeral directors are here to help you obtain a death certificate, transport the body, and, in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket or urn and arrange the funeral or memorial service. The funeral director will also help you notify the employer and insurance company of the deceased. Funeral directors are there to help you and advise you.

Meeting a Funeral Director

You should make contact with a funeral home within 24 hours of a death to begin making final arrangements for your loved one. Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state. Do not worry; funeral professionals have years of experience, and will strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements

First, the funeral director will gather information required for the death certificate. This includes:

  • Full Name of Deceased and Street Address of Residence
  • Marital Status
  • Full Name (including Maiden Name) of Spouse or divorced Spouse
  • Date and City/Town of birth
  • Father's Name & Birthplace
  • Mother's Name (Maiden Name) & Birthplace
  • Social Insurance Number

Additional Information and documents the funeral director may also need to complete legal paperwork and forms may include:

  • Any Life Insurance Information- we can help assist you with submitting your claim
  • Name of the executor of the will (if applicable)
  • Social Insurance Number of living spouse
  • Marriage certificate
  • A recent picture

If you are planning to have a viewing of the deceased, please bring:

  • Clothing- preferably long sleeved and higher in the neckline
  • Undergarments (bra, socks, underwear, undershirt, pantyhose, etc.)
  • Dentures
  • Jewelry (if desired)- please be sure to inform your director if the jewelry will be returned to you or stay with the deceased.

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service. These include:

  • Scheduling the location, date and time of the visitation and funeral service
  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Choosing Funeral Products
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

A funeral director will guide you through all of these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here the funeral services can be personalized. Did your loved one have a favorite sports team? What was their favorite type of music? What activity was your loved one known best for? Sharing these memories with the grieving process and will allow you to pay tribute to the life of your loved one.