When Death Occurs - What to do first
Steps to take at time of death
Depending on where the death occurs and under what circumstances, this explains what you should do when the death occurs:
- Death in a Medical Facility: When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of all necessary legal steps. Notify the medical staff that Brunswick Funeral Service is the funeral home handling arrangements.
- Anticipated Death at Home: In this situation, notify Hospice that Brunswick Funeral Service is the funeral home of your choice, they will then take care of all necessary legal requirements. Many 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 death.
- Unanticipated Death at Home or Elsewhere: In these situations, immediately call 911. The emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken.
- Death out of state: If the death occurs outside of North Carolina, you should call Brunswick Funeral Service - (910) 754-6363. We can coordinate with a local funeral director at the place of death.
Funeral Arrangement Conference
To assure that one of our funeral directors is immediately available and can devote the personal attention and time needed to make the arrangements, we would request that you call.
When you come to the conference, you may want to bring with you the following information about the decedent:
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Father's Name
- Mother's Maiden Name
- Veteran's Discharge Papers
- Cemetery Deed
- Clothing - all normal items including undergarments, other than shoes. For women, an outfit closed at the neckline and long sleeves are preferred.
- Insurance Policies
- Jewelry & personal items - these items can either be brought to the arrangement conference, or on the day of the visitation. You will be given a receipt for such items which will also list your requested disposition
- Obituary information (Place of Employment, Retirement date, List of Clubs or Membership, and List of Survivors.
At the funeral arrangement conference, if you have not already made prearrangements with Brunswick Funeral Service, our funeral directors will need to obtain some vital information for completing the death certificate. Certified copies of the death certificate are legal documents and are issued by the State of North Carolina Vital Statistics offices. Photocopies are not considered legal documents. After the original certificate has been signed by the physician or medical examiner and all vital information completed by our funeral home, it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Death certificates in North Carolina are $10.00 per certified copy. In South Carolina, the death certificates are $12.00 for the first one and $3.00 for any additional.
During the funeral arrangement conference, we will ask you how many certified copies of the death certificate are needed. As part of our services, we will obtain certified copies on your behalf. Although we try to obtain the certified copies prior to the completion of the funeral service, this is not always possible. In order to assist you in ascertaining the number of certified copies needed, below is a worksheet:
- Each Life Insurance Company
- Motor Vehicles
- Pension, IRA or other retirement benefits
- Probate of Will
- Each bank where account maintained
- Final Tax Return
- Stocks and Bonds
- Your own files
- Real Property
Please note that we will notify Social Security of the death so no death certificate is needed for that purpose.