When Death Occurs
Steps to Take
Steps to take at time of death depend on where the death occurs and under what circumstances. This will help explain what you should do when the death occurs:
- Death in an Institution: When the death occurs at a hospital, hospice or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of all necessary legal steps. In most cases you just need to notify the medical staff that Mountain View is the funeral home of choice so they can have you sign any necessary release paperwork.
- Anticipated Death at Home:Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to die at home under the care of hospice. In this situation, you just need to notify Hospice that Mountain View 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 pre-arrangements 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 police and emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken. In all cases, the police must notify the Medical Examiner who can release the human remains directly to our funeral home. However, in certain cases, the body may need to go to the Medical Examiner’s office so that they can determine the cause of death.
- Death out of state: If the death occurs outside of Arizona, you should call Mountain View on our toll-fee telephone number – 866-684-1951. We can coordinate with a local funeral director at the place of death. Being a member of several national associations, Mountain View often can save families allot of money by having our firm make the arrangements. If you travel often, it would be wise to let us tell you about our Travel Protection Plan, which would cover most costs associated with a death away from home.
Mesa 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 to schedule a mutually convenient arrangement time. Although the vast majority of funeral conferences are handled at one of our funeral home during normal business hours, we are available to come to your residence or meet in the evenings or weekends. One of our funeral directors is always on duty 24 hours a day, every day of the year. When you come to the conference, you may want to bring with you the following items:
- Military Discharge Papers (Form DD214)
- Recent Photograph for newspaper & preparation purposes
- Clothing – all normal items including undergarments, other than shoes. For women, an outfit closed at the neckline and long sleeves are preferred.
- 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
At the funeral arrangement conference, if you have not already made pre-arrangements with Mountain View, 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 Arizona 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. Fees for certified copies are generally $20 each within most counties in the State. 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 list of items that might require a Certified Copy:
- 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. A certified death certificate government use only copy for Veterans Benefits is at no charge.
Making Payment for Services and Merchandise
Mountain View and most all funeral homes and cemeteries in the valley require that services and merchandise be completely paid for prior to use of selected merchandise or services. Mountain View has several programs available to help families pay for their selected services and merchandise in the required time frame.
Form of Payment
Mountain View accepts cash, check or any major credit card payment.
If the deceased has an insurance policy and the beneficiary is willing to assign it to Mountain View, we have a company that will evaluate the policy in usually less than 24 hours and agree to pay Mountain View the family approved funeral and cemetery contract amount. There is a 4-5% charge for this on the contract amount only.
Always know that we are here to help.
Do You Have Questions?
We are happy to answer all your questions in great detail.