The shock of a loved one’s sudden passing can have a numbing, surreal effect. You’ll need to go to the funeral home for the arrangement conference fairly soon after the death, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be thinking clearly at this time. Take a family member with you. If possible, have a non-family member drive, as it might not be safe for you to do so just yet. You can use the time in the car to write down a list of your questions about the funeral planning process.
What information and documents do I need?
One of your first questions should be asked while on the phone with the funeral home director, before you leave for the conference. The funeral director will need some basic information and perhaps a few documents. These may include:
- The hospice’s or doctor’s contact information
- Name of the next of kin
- Decedent’s full name, birthday, and Social Security number
- Veteran information/discharge papers
- Photographs of the decedent
- Personal items
The personal items include burial clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, dentures, jewelry, and remembrance items, assuming that your loved one will have a visitation or burial. You may wish to meet with the funeral director first, and have these items sent over later on.
Did my loved one have a pre-need funeral plan?
Some families use the same memorial park for decades, preferring to be memorialized or buried together. Your loved one may have already made a pre-need plan with that facility. The funeral director can find this information for you.
Can my loved one receive military honors?
If your loved one was killed in the line of duty, or he or she was honorably discharged or separated from the military, he or she is entitled to receive military honors at the funeral. The director will give you all the information you need regarding the military rites and death benefits.
Skylawn Memorial Park understands that after a sudden loss, it’s difficult to plan a funeral for a loved one in San Mateo. We’re here to guide you through the process—from making big decisions regarding cremation or burial, to the smaller touches that make the ceremony truly reflective of your loved one’s personality. Call us at (650) 349-4411 and let us serve your family during this difficult time.