Bearing One Another's Burdens Since 1901







The Lynden Burial Society 


  Society Information

How it works
How to Join
Enrollment Pricing

Our Funeral Plan

A comparison of what's covered, what's not, and with which funeral homes we contract

Brochures & Forms
Writing an Obituary
When Death Occurs - A List
Burial Society Card History

Governing Board Members

Contact Information

Constitution / Bylaws


 General Information 

Funeral Homes
Local Cemeteries
What. Co. Cemetery Listing
What. Co. Cemetery Map
Local Support Groups
Personal Info Worksheet
Final Days
5 Truths of Grief 
Organ / Body Donation
About Cremation
Choosing a Cemetery


 For Survivors 

Social Security Survivors
Veterans Benefits


Related Websites

 Websites offering excellent  resources 

- click here



~ What to Do When Death Occurs ~

Click here for a printable version of this list in pdf format

When a death occurs in your family, you will be faced with important tasks and decision-making during a very difficult time. You may not know what to do or when to begin making arrangements. Bearing the responsibility can be overwhelming. Remember that you are not alone. We have compiled the following list to help guide you through the steps you will need to take when a death has occurred. Your funeral director will help coordinate all of the details when you meet for an arrangement conference.

1.    After a death has occurred, notify the funeral home of your choice. The following are some questions that they may ask when you call:

o    What is the full name of the deceased?

o    What is the location of the deceased (Hospital, Nursing Facility or Residence)?

o    What is your name, address and telephone number?

o    What is the name, address and phone number of the next-of-kin?

o    Are they a member of the Lynden Burial Society?

They will most likely then set an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete the details of the funeral arrangement. They will ask you to bring in some items and information that will be necessary to complete the arrangement. These items may include:

o    Clothing for the deceased

o    Social security number of the deceased

o    The deceased's birth date and city and state of birth

o    The deceased's parents names, including mother's maiden name

o    Information about the deceased's education

o    Marital status of the deceased

o    Veteran's discharge papers or Claim Number

o    A recent photograph of the deceased

o    Cemetery lot information (if applicable)

o    The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies

     of the death certificates that you will need and will order them for you.

2.    Secure the deceased’s home and property.

3.    Arrange for the care of any pets – if applicable

4.    Cancel paper delivery and stop mail if applicable

5.    Contact your clergy. Decide on a time and place for the funeral or memorial service.

6.    Make a list of family, friends and business colleagues, and notify each by phone. You may wish to use a "branching" system: make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people.

7.    Decide on an appropriate charity to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, organization, school).

8.    Gather obituary information, including a photo, age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work and a list of survivors in the immediate family. Include the time and place of the funeral services. The funeral home may offer to write or edit the obituary and submit it to the newspaper(s).

9.    If Social Security checks are deposited automatically, notify the bank of the death.

10. Coordinate the food supply in your home for the next several days.

11. Delegate special needs of the household, such as cleaning, food preparation, etc., to friends and family who offer their help.

12. Arrange for child care, if necessary.

13. Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.

14. Select pallbearers and notify the funeral home. (People with heart or back difficulties may be named honorary pallbearers).

15. Plan for the disposition of flowers after the funeral (to a church, hospital or rest home).

16. Prepare a list of distant friends and relatives to be notified by letter and/or printed notice.

17. Prepare a list of people to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments, which may be a written note, printed acknowledgments, or both. Include "thank you" notes/cards to those who have given their time, as well.

18. Notify insurance companies of the death.

19. Locate the will and notify the lawyer and executor.

20. Carefully check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check on possible income for survivors from these sources.

21. 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.

22. If the deceased was living alone, notify the utility companies and landlord and tell the post office where to send the mail.

23. Your Funeral Director should prepare the necessary Social Security forms.

24.  Locate the following documents, if any, and information.  

Note: If the estate is probated, these documents should be given to the personal representative.

• will

• community property agreement  

• trust documents

• insurance policies

• latest financial statements and credit card information

• bank account locations and account numbers

• safe deposit box, including location and box number (if you have

the right to access the safe deposit box, keep a careful record of what was in the box and what you removed from it)

• birth certificate

• marriage certificate

• social security card/number

• Veterans service number and record

• list of employer benefits or retirement benefits

• income tax return for the preceding year

• current passport

• driver's license

• vehicle registration and titles  

• mortgage documents, property deeds


***Be cautious about any person unknown to you who calls or visits with

offers or requests for information.  Sadly, scams and cons can occur at this time.


NOTE: If you are an attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney, your power to act ends upon the death of the principal.


A Non-Profit Organization Devoted to the Sharing of Funeral Expenses

"Caring by Sharing"