What To Do When Death Occurs

If you have experienced a loss, please accept our deepest sympathies. At the time of need, there are countless things that must be done and it can be overwhelming. Let our family assist you in making the very best decisions.

Notify Our Firm

When a death has occurred or is imminent, notify Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral and Cremation Chapels by calling (585) 227-2700, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The following are some questions that we may ask when you call:

  • What is the full name of the deceased?
  • What is the location of the deceased (Hospital, Nursing Facility or Residence)?
  • What is your name, address and telephone number?
  • What is the name, address and phone number of the next-of-kin?
  • Is there a pre-arranged funeral plan?

Prepare For the Arrangement Conference

We will then set an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete the details of the funeral arrangement. One of our experienced funeral directors will guide you through the entire process. If you would prefer, we can also make arrangements in the comfort of your home.

The following is a list of information that we will need at the arrangement conference:

  • Legal name of deceased and any alias’
  • Social security number of the deceased
  • The deceased’s birth date and city and state of birth
  • The deceased’s parents names, including mother’s maiden name
  • Information about the deceased’s education
  • Marital status of the deceased
  • Deceased’s last place of employment
  • Veteran’s information (discharge paperwork or claim number)
  • A recent photograph of the deceased (for hairdresser, preparation and obituary)
  • Pre-arrangement paperwork (if applicable)
  • Church, clergy or caregiver contact information
  • Cemetery lot information (if applicable)
  • Insurance paperwork (original binder or most recent statements)

To help assist you, view our Vital Statistical Worksheet.

The arrangement conference will also include making decisions on:

  • Making decisions on type of service or ceremony (traditional, contemporary, religious, non-religious, military, etc.)
  • Deciding on a location, date and time of funeral or memorial services (at your church, in our chapel, at graveside or other venue)
  • Choosing clergy or celebrant to officiate the ceremony and individuals to provide eulogy or words of remembrance. (including selecting music and scripture readings, etc.)
  • Selecting of funeral or cremation specific merchandise ( including caskets, urns, burial vaults, urn vaults, personalized printing, flowers or other items)
  • Type of clothing your loved one will wear (dresses, shirts or blouses should have a high neckline and long sleeves, shoes are optional)
  • Jewelry or personal items that you would like with your loved one for services Momentos or personal items to be placed out for display during services (veterans medals, photos, cards, memorabilia, etc.)
  • Selecting pallbearers
  • Securing all necessary burial and/or cremation authorizations from the appropriate family members

Gather Obituary Information

Our funeral home will assist you in writing the obituary and submit it to the Democrat & Chronicle, any out-of town publications and upload it to our website.

The information commonly included is a list of survivors, photo, age, place of birth, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, achievements, hobbies and interests and any pre-deceased relatives on the deceased’s side. You may also want to decide on an appropriate charity to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, organization, school, etc.).

Who to Notify

Make a list of family, friends and business colleagues, and notify each by phone. You may wish to use a “branching” system: make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make phone calls to specific people.

Other people you may want to notify include:

  • Doctor
  • Employer of deceased
  • Employer of relatives not going to work
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Attorney, accountant, executor of estate
    Insurance agent


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