When Death Occurs

If you're unsure of what to do, call Howell Family Funeral Home Inc. 

24 Hours/Day: 570-488-6100

No matter if a death is sudden, or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one.  When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering.  The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done following a death.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

If the person was not under hospice care, call 911 and the Coroner (Edward, if in Wayne County) will be notified immediately.  The Coroner or a Deputy Coroner will determine upon initial investigation if the body may be released directly to the funeral home, or if further investigation is necessary.  The Coroner must release the body before a funeral home can do anything.   If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/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.  If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death.  If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the funeral home to make arrangements, however, if you are not present a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements.

Meeting with Edward & Making Arrangements

The Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Marital Status
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Date, City, State and County of Birth
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Occupation and Industry

The Funeral Director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, those documents include:

  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Bank Account Information
  • Burial Reserve Account Information
  • Last Will & Testament
  • Military Discharge Documents, including DD214
  • A Photograph to be used for the obituary and on this website

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral or memorial service.  These include:

  • Scheduling the location, date and time of the visitation and funeral service
  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Choosing Funeral Products
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

Edward will guide you through all these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here the funeral services can be personalized.   Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honor the life of your loved one.