You have experienced the loss of a loved one. You are overwhelmed with so many feelings and have lots of questions.
Where do I start and what do I do first? These are all questions we can help you work through. You can think of those questions as steps. We are here to help guide you through those steps. We will help you prepare for your loved one’s final farewell.
Remember, you are not alone. Our compassionate funeral directors will help you and your family through this emotional time. We are here to guide you through the complete process. Step 1 – What to do first? – You Need to Notify the Proper Authorities If…
If your loved one passes away while under the care of a facility — such as a nursing home or a hospital — staff from the facility will contact you and notify the appropriate authorities.
If the death occurred in the workplace or at home, you will need to get in touch with his or her physician or emergency medical personnel, as the cause of death must be identified and indicated in legal documents.
In the event that no one was present at the time of death, you will need to contact the police before moving the deceased to another location. Step 2 – Now what? – Call One of Our Funeral Homes for Assistances
Call one of the Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Homes that is nearest to you. You can call us 24 hours a day seven days a week. Here are the numbers to call for immediate help when your loved one has passed:
Garland – 972.270.6116 | Sachse – 972.414.5050 | McKinney & Princeton – 972.562.7788.
During your phone call, our caring funeral director can assist you with your funeral arrangements. We will start by collecting information from you in order to begin the transfer of your loved one’s remains to our facility.
You will also be asked if the deceased has made pre-arrangements and their wishes on being embalmed.
During this call, we will set a time for an Arrangement Conference to meet with you and your family at our funeral home. At this appointment, we will discuss the arrangement plans in greater detail. We will ask you to bring some information and items that will be needed at your first appointment. One of those important items is the clothes your deceased loved one will wear for the burial.
Other people, you will want to reach out to:
- Family members and friends – You can always ask another family member or close friend to help you contact others.
- Clergy or other spiritual advisors
We are here for you. We are here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions and help you prepare a meaningful service for your loved one. Step 3 – What to Expect When You Arrive at Our Funeral Home
At our first meeting, we will provide you with the General Price List pamphlet. The pamphlet has information on the types of services offered and price for each service. Our funeral director will review these options with you. Together we will find the plan that will work with your family’s wishes and within your budget.
We will guide you through the complete arrangement process, explaining how you can create a meaningful personable celebration of your loved one’s life. We want you to share your ideas and desires, cultural customs and religious beliefs. We will use this information as the foundation for the arrangement process.
This process may include –
- Preparing and filing the official death certificate
- Scheduling the location, date and time of services or events
- Selecting a casket, urn or other items
- Preparing an obituary notice
- Scheduling vehicles
- Selecting pallbearers
Our funeral director will help you prepare the paperwork that will be needed.
Information you will need to have –
- Full Legal Name
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father’s name
- Mother’s maiden name
- Veteran’s discharge papers – DD-214
You may sign the necessary authorizations or make arrangements to have them signed by the appropriate family members.
We will use this opportunity to understand more about your loved one. It will be helpful if you can bring some memorabilia – photos, videos, letters, a favorite song, treasured items, favorite activity, favorite place – all this information will be helpful to understand how to capture the spirit of the person whose life you wish to honor.
Below is a checklist of information that will be helpful for you to bring to the appointment –
____ Full Legal Name
____ Home Address
____ Social Security Number
____ Date of Birth
____ Place of Birth
____ Father’s Name
____ Mother’s Madian Name
____ Veteran’s Discharge Papers (DD-214)
____ Recent Photograph
____ Highest Education
____ Place of Burial – if applicable
____ Clergy Name and Phone Number
____ Survivors – Name and Relationship
____ Insurance Policies – if applicable step 4 – We Will Help With Filing for the Death Certificate
A death certificate is a legal document indicating the cause of death, including other vital statistics pertaining to the deceased, signed by the attending physician. In case your loved one died due to an accident, a coroner or the county medical examiner may prepare the form.
If you feel that you need assistance in filing this legal document with the state, we can help you.
Certified copies of the death certificate can also be purchased at the same time. Determine the number of Certified Death Certificate copies you will need before you make your request. Our funeral director will help you with this process.
These certified copies are important when gaining access to –
- Individual Life Insurance Company for Policy Claim
- Vehicle Title / Boat Title Transfers (transferring or selling ownership of properties)
- Real Estate Property Title Transfers
- Each Individual Bank Account – Saving, Checking
- Safety deposit boxes
- CDs, IRAs
- Probating of a Will
- Some Credit Card companies
- Pre-arranged Funeral Social
- Security – SSI Benefits
- Government Employee Claims
- VA Insurance Claims
- Pension Claim Claiming for benefits due to the family – like the Veteran’s benefits or insurance claims
We will file the Death Certificate for you. The fees for a Death Certificate are $21 for the 1st certified copy and $4 for each additional copy. If you need more at a later date, we will start the process again by getting a 2nd certified copy for $21 and pay $4 for each additional copy.