When A Death Occurs

If a death has just occurred, please accept our deepest sympathies. Please know we will be here with you every step of the way, and remember that you are not alone. If a death just occurred, your situation is urgent, or you require immediate assistance, please call 814-533-5832.

Typically, the arrangements process takes two to three hours. That will give us time to answer your questions and organize the type of services you desire. Let us handle all the details so you can focus on spending time with your family and remembering the life of your lost loved one.

The list below is to help you as you prepare to make arrangements.

There are a number of items that you will need to bring to the funeral home in the days before the funeral service. Bringing as much as possible with you to the initial arrangement conference will help with the planning process. Here is a list of what you will need.

The funeral arrangement conference is where we will discuss and make the arrangements for your loved one’s funeral services.  Our staff will have regular, daily contact with you up to the day of the service to help finalize all of the many details. However, the majority of decisions will be made at this initial conference.

The arrangement conference will take approximately one to two hours.  During this time we will help you create an honoring service that reflects a life well lived.  We will need to discuss the kind of services desired, dates and times of the services, and any merchandise to be selected.  Finally, we will address your wishes regarding cemetery property and a marker or monument if needed.

We understand that every family will want to approach this conference differently. Some families have one or two representatives attend the conference. Others prefer to have everyone present.  We can accommodate whatever you would prefer.  But, if more than six people will be attending, please let us know in advance so we can prepare a space to accommodate everyone.

Our staff is available to sit down and discuss your wishes ahead of time at our facility or you are welcome to use our online estimator to help you make decisions. Visit our Plan & Price page for the full estimator, or go to our Shop  to make selections, design your own custom marker or monument, and look at your options prior to the initial arrangement conference.  

Often, when a death is considered to be imminent by medical professionals, families talk with us to help with making selections and reducing decisions to be made after the death occurs.  So please do not hesitate to call us at 814-533-5832, 24-7, with any questions or concerns.

Our staff will file the funeral director’s affidavit of death with Social Security to notify them that your loved one has died.  If the deceased does not have a surviving spouse or dependent child, then no benefits exist.  If the deceased has a surviving spouse or dependent child you will want to contact Social security at 1-800-772-1213 between the hours of 7:00AM and 7:00PM on weekdays.  Informative publications are available, free of charge, at your local Social Security office or online by clicking on the button below.

Veterans, please see our Veteran Services page.

After a death has occurred, many families are unaware of all the different people who need to be notified in order to claim benefits, change billing addresses, or end services. Some of most important entities to contact immediately include:

  • Banks
  • Credit card providers
  • Church
  • Accountant
  • Attorney
  • Estate executor
  • Home, life, and health insurance providers
  • Utility companies, cell phone provider
  • Home maintenance providers
  • Physicians
  • Dentist
  • Newspaper and magazine subscription
  • Offices and government agencies such as social Security, the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • The US Postal Service
  • Veterans Administration
  • Voter’s registration office
  • Retirement plans
  • And possibly others

Contacting all of these people can be overwhelming, but our staff can provide you with a Resource Guide that includes sample letters to all of these entities, which will to assist you with the notifications.  We can send these guides to you in hard copy format on paper or in a digital format on CD.  

You will need several certified copies of the death certificate in order to make many of these notifications.  We will order as many as you need directly from the state and notify you when they are ready.  A photocopy will work for some organizations, but many require a certified copy with a raised seal.  We recommend obtaining 8-12 copies, but if you are not sure exactly what a good starting point is for your specific situation, please do not hesitate to call us at 814-533-5832.

The Simple Process

We understand there’s a lot to plan for,
so we make the process simple and affordable.