Losing a loved one can be emotionally challenging. Your Dignity Memorial® professionals are here to support and guide you through the process of planning a funeral, cremation memorial or celebration of life that truly honors your loved one’s memory.
When death occurs and there is an immediate need, the first step is to find a Dignity Memorial location near you or in the location of your choosing. Caring Dignity Memorial professionals will walk you through the next steps and schedule an arrangement conference. To help make a funeral home meeting easier, we’ve created some helpful checklists.
The first checklist includes the things we need to help you secure a death certificate. The second checklist includes information you may want to provide so that we can help draft an obituary, if your family wants assistance. The third checklist includes what you'll need to bring to the arrangement conference itself.
Download and print these checklists.
1. Compile information for the death certificate
From the information you provide during the arrangement conference, your Dignity Memorial provider will initiate the original death certificate. In most cases, it needs to be signed by a physician, who will also indicate the cause of death. The certificate then goes to the health department for registration and recording. The original certificate stays at the health department, which issues certified copies to you. Multiple copies of the death certificate are generally needed when handling the affairs—closing bank accounts, settling retirement accounts, selling an estate, etc.—of someone who has passed away.
The following information about your loved one will be needed at the arrangement conference to begin the death certificate process:
- Your loved one’s full name
- Social Security number
- Date and place of birth
- Address at the time of death
- Marital status and the surviving spouse’s name, if applicable
- Veterans discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
- Father’s name
- Mother’s full name, including maiden name
- Place of death
- Highest level of education and occupation
2. Gather information for your loved one’s obituary
Your Dignity Memorial provider can help you write a fitting tribute about your loved one to publish in the newspaper and online and to share on social media. In addition to the information above, consider writing down your loved one's biographical details and special characteristics such as:
- Work history
- Personal achievements
- Church or synagogue affiliation, if applicable
- Organizations and memberships
- Hobbies or favorite vacation spots
- What made your loved one unique
- Ways your loved one impacted the people around them
- Names of surviving relatives and the cities in which they live, including parents, spouse, siblings, children, grandchildren, grandparents, etc.
3. Prepare to plan for funeral, cremation and/or burial arrangements
At the arrangement conference, your funeral arranger will talk with you about the process of planning a funeral or memorial service in addition to options for a final resting place in a cemetery. We'll ask questions about your loved one in order to help you plan the most fitting celebration possible. When meeting with your Dignity Memorial professional, we recommend that you bring the following:
- Pre-planned funeral arrangements or documents in which your loved one has made his or her final wishes known, if applicable
- Clothing, including undergarments (we have clothing that you may purchase, if you’d prefer)
- Eyeglasses and jewelry (these items may remain with your loved one or be removed and returned after the service)
- A recent photograph (we will use this for cosmetic purposes)
- Military discharge papers for a veteran, if applicable
- Social Security number
- Life insurance policies
- Names and contact information for six to eight pallbearers, if applicable
- A collection of photos that can be used to create a tribute video or photo memory book
Please bring these completed checklists to your arrangement meeting, and we can help you with the rest of the details, including funeral or memorial plans; filing for Social Security, Veterans Administration and life insurance benefits; and even ordering the perfect flowers or mementos to honor your loved one.
Our goal is to ease the burden for you and your family in what may be one of the most difficult times of life. We're here to answer questions, offer options and provide support before, during and after the service. If you have lost a loved one and would like to talk to a Dignity Memorial provider about scheduling an arrangement meeting, click the button below.