End of Life Issues
When a death occurs while under hospice care:
• Call hospice. Hospice will notify the funeral home designated by the family.
When a death occurs in a hospital or other care facility:
• Staff members usually contact the funeral home designated during the patient admission
process. If a funeral home was not designated, the staff should gather information from the
family and contact the selected funeral home.
When a death occurs outside of the home or a care facility:
• Dial 911 for Emergency/First Responders
Selecting a Funeral Provider
Practices, prices, and services can vary considerably among funeral homes. Whether provider
services are immediately needed or you are making prearrangements, take time to consider
important details before you make any final decisions.
• Ask questions and carefully consider your options. Verify that the funeral home and the
directors employed are properly licensed.
• Gather information. Call family friends, contact your place of worship, and call local funeral
homes and/or visit their web sites for details.
• Quality matters. While lower priced
merchandise may be available from many
sources, note that those sources may not
offer product quality guarantees, delivery
guarantees, or return/refund options. Also
note that funeral homes justifiably may
refuse merchandise that is delayed, damaged,
Meeting with a Funeral Director
• Plan ahead. Before meeting with a funeral
director, write a list of questions and concerns
to discuss, as having an outline will help you
• Request a comparison of benefits and costs
for burial versus cremation, details for a
traditional funeral and/or memorial service,
merchandise information (such as caskets
and urns), and cemetery costs (including
plots, vaults, and opening/closing fees.)
• Ask for verification of current licenses for
funeral directors and facilities.
• Be sure to ask about Veterans benefits and