Handling Death and Legal Papers

Arrangements for disposition of the deceased generally can be made by a spouse, next-of-kin or legal representative. If you have legal authority and are making funeral arrangements, bring along a copy of the paperwork as proof, to avoid any confusion.

The normal sequence of events for handling a death is as follows:

  • Get a legal pronouncement of death. Death must be verified by a coroner, medical examiner, the last attending physician or hospice nurse.. If your relative died at home, you’ll need to get a medical professional to declare her/him dead. To do this, call 911 and have the body transported to an emergency room for death verification. 
  • Contact relatives.
  • Locate deceased’s letter of direction, prepaid funeral contract or prearrangement information, insurance policies or will. If no instructions or prepaid burial plans were left, you will need to decide what the person wanted in terms of funeral specifics and affordability.
  • Reearch and contact the funeral home of your choice. *In Greater KC a good reference is the Price Survey found on funeralskc.org.
  • If death occurs out of state or country, it is advisable that you immediately contact. a local funeral director in your home town who will know the requirements that must be met, as well as help prevent duplication of service costs.
  • Laws do not require using a funeral home except in those involving infectious/contagious diseases as defined by the state’s Department of Health and Environment.

Information of Deceased for Death Certificate:

Date  and place of death:  ______________________________________

Social Security Number: _______________________________________



Date of Birth:________________________

Birthplace:  _________________________________________________

Marital Status: _______________________

Father’s Name: ______________________________________________

Date of Birth: __________________________

Mother’s Maiden Name: _______________________________________

Date of Birth: _________________________

Highest grade completed:_________________

Occupation: ____________________________

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