What to Do When Death Occurs 2018-05-30T20:54:12+00:00

Immediately following a death, you will face important tasks and decisions during a very difficult time. You may not know what to do or when to begin making arrangements. Bearing such a responsibility can seem overwhelming.

Remember that you are not alone.

The Island Funeral Home & Crematory is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you with the details and offer guidance. We have compiled the following step-by-step process to guide you following a death. Your funeral director will help coordinate all of the details when you meet for an arrangement conference.

1. Notify The Island Funeral Home by calling 843-681-4400. Here are some questions we might ask:

  • 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?

2. We will schedule an appointment with you to visit us and complete the details of the arrangements. We will ask you to bring in some items and information that are necessary to complete the process.

These might include:

  • Clothing for the deceased
  • Social security number of the deceased
  • The deceased’s birth date and city and state of birth
  • Marital status of the deceased
  • The deceased’s parents names, including mother’s maiden name
  • Information about the deceased’s education
  • Veteran’s discharge papers or claim number
  • A recent photograph of the deceased
  • A form of payment
  • Prearrangement paperwork (if applicable)
  • Cemetery lot information (if applicable)

3. Your funeral director will help you decide on a time for the service and contact your clergy, if applicable.

4. The funeral home will help you determining the number of certified copies of the death certificate that you will need and will order them for you.

5. Gather obituary information, including a photo, age, place of birth, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work and a list of survivors in the immediate family. Include the time and place of the funeral services. The funeral home will assist with the obituary and submit it to the newspaper(s).

6. If you wish, decide on an appropriate charity to which memorial gifts may be made (e.g., church, hospice, library, organization, school).

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

8. Arrange for family members and/or close friends to take turns answering the door or phone. Keeping a careful record of visitors and flower deliveries will make it easier to thank people later on.

9. Coordinate the food supply in your home for the next several days.

10. Delegate special needs of the household, (e.g., cleaning, food preparation), to friends and family who offer their help.

11. Arrange for child care, if necessary.

12. Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends.

13. We will assist with the disposition of flowers after the funeral (to a church, hospital, rest home or your home).

14. Prepare a list of distant friends and relatives to be notified by letter and/or printed notice.

15. Prepare a list of people to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments — a written note, printed acknowledgments, or both. Include “thank yous” to those who have given their time as well.

16. Notify insurance companies of the death.

17. Locate the will and notify the attorney and personal representative.

18. Carefully check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check on possible income for survivors from these sources.

19. Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some might carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors for more time before the payments are due.

20. If the deceased was living alone, notify the utility companies and landlord; tell the local U.S. Post Office where to send the mail.

21. Your Funeral Director will notify the Social Security Administration.

Death Away from Home

When funeral arrangements must unexpectedly be made away from home, The Island Funeral Home and Crematory will assist you in any way possible.

The first step: Call The Island Funeral Home and Crematory at 843-681-4400 day or night.

It is not usually necessary for you to contact an out-of-state funeral home. We can do this for you. We will make all the arrangements necessary to transport the deceased to the out-of-state funeral home for embalming, preparation, and return to South Carolina.

We will need some basic information from you, and we will ask you to call us upon your return to set a time for an arrangement conference/