When Death Occurs

No matter when a death happens, it is difficult knowing what you need to do first and who you can turn to for help. 
Just remember you can call us 24/7 at 716-824-6435 and we will help guide you through this difficult time.

Here is what you need to do if a death occurs at a:

Home or Place of Business

If your loved one was not under hospice care, you should notify the police immediately. They will be dispatched to your home and will call the coroner/medical examiner, who may transport the deceased to their office and will determine if any further action is necessary. The coroner/medical examiner will need to release the body before a funeral home can be called in to help. 

If the person was under hospice care, you can contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.

Hospital, Nursing Home or Hospice Facility

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. The hospital or nursing home will call the funeral home if this information has been given to them before the death of the individual.

If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, you will be asked a few questions about the wishes of the deceased and when would be a good time for you to come into the funeral home to make arrangements. If you are not present when the funeral director arrives, you will be contacted by phone to set up a time to meet.

When to Call Your Funeral Director

Once death takes place, you can give us a call and we'll talk you through next steps: obtaining a death certificate, transporting the body, and in the event pre-planning wasn't done make your arrangements for the Memorial Gathering and/or Memorial Service if desired.

It's important to meet with us within 24 hours of a death to begin making the final arrangements for your loved one. Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very overwhelming task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state, but our staff has years of experience dealing with these issues and strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements

First our Funeral Directors will gather information required for the death certificate.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address

  • Marital Status

  • Race

  • Date and City of Birth

  • Highest Level of Education

  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)

  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)

  • Occupation and Employer

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made.  These include:

  • Scheduling the date and time of the Memorial Gathering and/or Memorial Service

  • Choosing cremation merchandise

  • Arranging a cemetery plot

  • Preparing a death notice


Have a question? Call: (716) 824-6435
ERIE COUNTY CREMATION SERVICE, 873 Abbott Rd., Buffalo, NY 14220