When making funeral arrangements at funeral homes in Adelphi, MD, people who are doing it for the first time often do not know what they need to bring to start the funeral process. There are several things that you will need to take with you to the funeral home when you are making funeral arrangements for your loved one.
Hopefully, your loved one was organized and had thought about their funeral in advance. If so, you will already know where their important papers are so that some of these items will be easy to locate.
However, not everyone thinks in advance about their death, even sometimes in the case of terminal illnesses where the outcome is certain, and it may take some time to find all the documents the funeral director will need to start planning your loved one’s funeral.
Here is a list of the documents you should take with you when you go to the funeral home:
- Your loved one’s birth certificate
- Your loved one’s Social Security card
- Your loved one’s marriage certificate (or divorce decree, if applicable)
If your loved one served in the United States military and was discharged with any status other than a dishonorable discharge, your loved one is entitled to several military funeral benefits. These include free burial or inurnment in a national or state cemetery, a free grave marker, and military funeral honors.
Even if your loved one will be buried or inurned in a private cemetery, they are still entitled to a free grave marker and military funeral honors.
In order for your funeral director to arrange these military funeral benefits with the local Department of Veterans Affair office, they will need to make a copy of your loved one’s military separation orders (Form DD-214), so if you want the benefits, you should take this with you as well when you go to make funeral arrangements.
You should bring clothes for your loved one to be dressed in as part of the embalming process. While in the past, the standard funeral clothing was more formal (suits and ties for men and Sunday dresses for women), things have changed enough so that you can choose how you want your loved one dressed for burial.
Some people choose to have their loved ones buried in clothes that everyone will recognize them in or the clothes they loved best, while others go the more traditional route and dress their loved ones more formally. The choice is entirely yours.
You will also need to provide information about your loved one to your funeral director. For the death certificate, you’ll need to provide your loved one’s occupation (your funeral director will also use the birth certificate and Social Security card for the death certificate).
You should also be prepared to provide details for your loved one’s obituary, if they or you have not written one and you want the funeral home to write it for you. It’s best to not put too much personal information in the obituary for your loved one.
The street address where they died (and of other family members) should not be included. People who break into homes routinely scan obituaries to find out when no one will be home at the street addresses listed, and they target those homes.
Additionally, it’s best not to include their date of birth to prevent potential identity theft.