When Losing A Love One...

The time following the death of a loved one is filled with a sense of numbness and anxiety. Yet, many decisions must be made at this most stressful time. 

We, the staff of Zion Memorial Funeral Home, have compiled this guide. It is our hope that this will be helpful resource in making important decisions during this time of grief. 


Have someone call other family members to notify them of the death and let them know if they should come to the hospital. This is a very stressful moment, and you may need someone to drive you home from the hospital. If you are a member of a church, have someone notify your minister about the death and whether or not they should come to the hospital. 

Inform the nurse if you are considering the donation program or if you would like more information. Many families benefit from organ, eye, and tissue donation. Trained staff members are available to talk with you and answer your questions. In certain circumstances, an autopsy may be required by law. 

Gather your loved one's personal belongings that are at the hospital.

If desired, ask the hospital for a private setting in which you and your family can pray and grieve.

You may want to pick a contact person to give updates to friends and extended family members. This will limit the number of calls you receive, and free up your time to make final arrangement, receive guests, or to have personal time to grieve.   


Make an appointment with zion Memorial Funeral Home's Funeral Director, Brian J. Sims. While you are talking with the director, please be prepared to discuss the location, date and time for the service.

Gather The following items:

  • Clothes for your loved one 
  • information for the newspaper obituary. If a photograph is to be used with the obituary, take it with you.
  • Military discharge papers (DD-214), if appropriate.
  • Burial policies
  • Other items as requested by the funeral home.
  • Contact family attorneys, financial advisors, accountants, etc. to notify them of your loved one's death. 


Be prepared to select and purchase a casket and vault. Also be prepared to set the time and place for the funeral and to sign a contract. Please make any special requests for your loved one's service at this time. 

If cremation is chosen as the disposition, also be prepared to select an urn and to make arrangements for a memorial service, if desired. 

inform the funeral director if you want flowers or, if you prefer, that donations be made to a favorite charity. 

Give the funeral Director the information for the newspaper obituary.

Request certified copies of the death certificate, please. It might be necessary to request more than one certified copy of the death certificate, in order to settle final/financial affairs.


Check with the Social Security Office about benefits by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov. The SSA-721 will be filed by Zion Memorial Funeral Home for the notification of death.

Once you have received a certified copy of the death certificate, this will help to re-establish bank accounts and safety deposit boxes in the appropriate name(s). Call before going to the bank to be sure that  you have the necessary paperwork to make these changes. Make sure that you have received a certified copy of the death certificate and any other necessary document before doing so

Zion Memorial Funeral Home will submit all life insurance claims that are provided by the family. 

Consult an attorney for advice about a will and other financial matters. If you don't have an attorney, the Lawyer Referral Service of the local Bar Association can provide you a list of attorneys. If you can't afford an attorney, the Legal Aid Society can help you find legal assistance at reduced rates.   

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In this section

Grief Support

When Losing A Love One...

Making Arrangements

Social Security Benefits

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