• Who should I notify?

    The first phone calls made upon news of a death will depend on the circumstances. When someones dies in a hospital or other medical care facility, the staff will usually take care of some of the arrangements.

    You will need to notify family, friends, and clergy. It may be easier to make just a few phone calls to close relatives and ask them to inform specific people so the burden of spreading the news does not rest entirely on you. If you are alone, don't be afraid to ask someone to keep you company as you make the first phone calls and cope with the first hours after death.

    If a person dies at home or at work, the first call must be made to 911. Any unexpected death that occurs without a physician or medical personnel present must be reported to the police and an investigation will be held. The coroner will examine the body, then arrange for it to be transported to the morgue for autopsy, or to the funeral home.

    If your loved one was receiving medical care, be sure to notify the doctor. If they were in hospice care, it is not necessary to call 911. You can call the hospice facility directly.