When a Death Occurs
When your loved one passes away, there are a number of items that will need to be addressed. The questions and answers provided below will give you an idea of what you will initially need to know. If there are any questions not covered below, please call us at 708-485-2000. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
How do I select a funeral home?
Selecting a funeral home should rank at the top of the list of things that most people want to think about. But when a loved one dies, choosing a funeral home becomes critical. For the survivors, who are faced with grief and shock, the choice could be simplified by advanced planning.
According to the International Cemetery and Funeral Association, the most important quality that enables a funeral director to provide services in the community is his or her reputation for honesty and good will. In fact, a good reputation is the key factor to staying in business. The reputation of the funeral home itself generally reflects quality of service, quality of the facility, and types of services offered.
Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd., has been an important part of the Brookfield, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Westchester, Riverside, North Riverside, Western Springs, Indian Head Park, Western Suburbs, and the Chicago land community for over 112 years. Families know that they can count on us to be there when they need us.
Who should I notify if a death occurs?
• Family should call Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd., immediately.
• If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, the nurse/or someone from the medical records department may not inform the funeral home, a member of the family should call Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd.
• If the person passed at home (not on hospice), or another location (work, vacation etc), the police must be notified (911). They will contact either the coroner or medical examiner for authorization to release the individual to the designated funeral home.
• If the person was receiving hospice or continuous care, the hospice nurse (RN) will contact the funeral home.
• When a person is on vacation and is out of state, contact Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd. We will make the arrangements with another family-owned funeral home to assist us with the transfer.
We will set up a time for you and/or family members who wish to participate in the arrangement process, to come in and finalize your wishes. We guide you to notify additional parties such as: employers, insurance or financial institutions, clergy, Social Security, and veteran’s benefits (if applicable), to name a few.
Is there particular Information that I should bring with me to make arrangements?
There will be a few general questions that will be asked (If we have a pre-arrangement file on site, most of the questions will be answered). We will address additional information when we meet.
Below is a list of items that you should bring with you when making arrangements for your deceased family member:
• Social Security number of the decedent
• Photo for cosmetology and hair styling
• Clothing, jewelry, and glasses
• If a veteran, discharge papers (DD214)
• Correct spelling of all family members’ names for obituary
• Deceased’s parents’ names, mother’s maiden name
• Date of birth, place of birth, and years of education
• Decedents occupation information
• Cemetery information
What will be discussed during the arrangement process?
We meet with you to discuss your needs and offer advice about the many options that are available. Some of the many decisions include:
• Traditional funeral, cremation or memorial service/Memorial Mass
• Casket, burial vault, or urn
• Chapel, graveside, church, or memorial service
• Cemetery arrangements
• Family and friends to notify
• Visitation hours
• Clergy or celebrant to officiate
• Legal certificates and permits
• Preferred scripture or readings
• Clothing, jewelry, and glasses for the deceased
• Donations to charity
• Memorial folder, prayer cards, and acknowledgment cards
• Limousines for family
• Religious and fraternal items
• Music, video and photos
• Monument or marker
• Restaurants and luncheons
Social Security Benefits and Death Certificates
Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd, submits a ‘Statement of Death by Funeral Director Form (SSA-721) directly to the Social Security Administration to assist your family in the time of loss.
We also order certified copies of your loved one’s death certificate. Please review your personal needs since you will need a certified copy for each of these items:
• Life insurance
• Bank accounts
• Stocks and bonds
• Real estate
• Retirement accounts
• Employee benefits
• Private health insurance
• Income tax
For further information about Social Security benefits (Click Here).
Please Click Here to go to our at-need form. You can give us information about your loved one prior to our meeting.