WHEN A DEATH OCCURS. . .
The passing of a loved one is a very difficult time in our lives. Sometimes, it may be overwhelming. This page is designed to help you understand the funeral arrangement process and what to do at the time a loved one passes away. Please realize, the Lawrence A. Gabriel Funeral Home, Inc., is at your service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
AT THE TIME OF DEATH. . .
- Death out of state: If your loved one passes away outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you should first call the Gabriel Funeral Home at (570) 282 – 1219. We will coordinate with a local funeral director at the place of death.
- Unanticipated death at home or elsewhere: In the event of a sudden death, immediately call 911. Emergency responders will then determine the necessary steps to be taken. Often, the police department can release the deceased directly to our funeral home, with approval from the county coroner’s office.
- Anticipated death at home: In some cases, people with terminal illnesses are electing to utilize hospice care at home during their final days. In this situation, you need to notify the Hospice Care Unit that the Gabriel Funeral Home will be handling your loved one’s arrangements at the time of their passing. The Hospice Care Unit will take care of all necessary legal paperwork. Often times, when someone has a terminal illness, the family will elect to make prearrangements with us so that they are not overwhelmed with the many important decisions at the time of their loved one’s passing.
- Death in an Institution: In the event of a death at a nursing facility or hospital, the medical staff will take care of all necessary legal steps. You will need to notify the institution’s staff that the Gabriel Funeral Home will be handling your loved one’s arrangements. You may be required to sign release paperwork.
FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS. . .
- We strive to provide our families the ultimate in professional service. One way we provide that service is to go to the home of the deceased or a family member to make all necessary funeral arrangements. We have found that it is more convenient for families we serve to go their homes, as opposed to them coming to the funeral home. However, if a family wishes to come to our funeral home, that is fine also.
FUNERAL ARRANGEMENT CONFERENCE – When we meet with you for the funeral arrangement conference, here are some things you should try to have available. . .
- Clothing: We ask that you bring all normal clothing items, including undergarments. For women, an outfit closed at the neckline and long sleeves are preferred. You do not need to select formal wear. If a gentleman has never worn a suit and tie, that may not be as appropriate as a polo shirt and khaki pants, or a flannel shirt and jeans may be. We encourage you to choose something that would accurately and appropriately reflect the life and interests of your loved one.
- Jewelry and personal items: These items, such as glasses, rings, rosaries, a special belt and buckle, or any other personal effects can either be brought to the arrangement conference, or on the day of the visitation. You have the option to have the items buried with your loved one or returned to you.
- Recent Photograph: This photo is for newspaper obituaries, prayer cards, and for preparation purposes.
- Church affiliation information: Once you let us you know your church affiliation and clergy persons, we will make all necessary arrangements on your behalf.
- List of preferred songs to be played at funeral service: We will communicate with the church office staff, organists, etc., to be sure your musical preferences are played at appropriate times.
- List of work, community, or charitable organizations your loved one belonged to: We will include this information in your loved one’s obituary.
- List of pallbearers or honorary pallbearers: Once we are aware of your choice of pallbearers, we will be coordinate all necessary details with them.
- Deed to burial property: We will notify the local cemetery of your loved one’s passing and handle all necessary arrangements with the cemetery.
- Military Discharge papers or active service papers: If you prefer to honor your loved one with a military service, we will coordinate all the details on your behalf.
- Social Security number of your deceased loved one: Our staff will notify the social security office of your loved one’s passing.
- Insurance Policy Information: This information is needed to process the insurance claim. We will assist you with this process.
At the funeral arrangement conference, if you have not already made prearrangements, our funeral director will need to obtain some vital information for completing the death certificate. Certified copies of the death certificate are legal documents issues by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Vital Statistics office. Photocopies are not considered legal documents. Our funeral home will be happy to help you obtain certified copies of the death certificate.
During the funeral arrangement conference, we will ask you how many certified copies of the death certificate are needed. As part of our professional services, we will obtain certified copies on your behalf. In order to assist you in obtaining the number of certified copies needed, below is a list of the common companies or instances where a certified copy of a death certificate would be needed.
- Life Insurance Companies
- Real Property
- Financial Institutions
- Pension, IRA, or other retirement benefits
- Stocks and Bonds
- Probate of Will
- Final Tax Return
- Your own personal files
We sincerely hope this page assisted you and answered any questions you may have had. Please feel free to contact us at (570) 282 – 1219 if you have any further questions. Thank you for placing your trust in us.