What Do I Do Now?

When a death occurs, the question most people ask is “What do I do now?” The decisions that need to be made are numerous, and navigating the funeral process can be confusing at best. Additionally, there is great emotional and physical stress that accompanies this process, making decisions more difficult.

Whether you have planned ahead, are working with Seasons Funeral Planning Services, or know what funeral home you plan to use, your loved one will enter the care of a licensed funeral home at the time of death. 

In Southern Nevada, when someone dies at home, the police must be called first. If the cause of death does not need further review by the Coroner’s Office, the body may be taken directly to a funeral home. The authorities will ask the next of kin which funeral home to use. If there is no preference or the next of kin is not immediately available to choose, authorities will refer through their mortuary rotation system. This system utilizes most of the local mortuaries on a weekly rotating basis. Families are not obligated to use the designated mortuary for their funeral arrangements. 

However, if the next of kin has not contacted the Coroner's Office within 24 hours regarding funeral home choice, the decedent will be released to the mortuary on rotation pending final disposition.  Arrangements can then be made through that funeral home. Even still, the next of kin can choose another mortuary or cremation service for final disposition and services. 

If the deceased is at a medical or assisted living facility, staff members will assist you in making the call to a local funeral home. 

If your loved one is under hospice care, staff will usually provide you with a list of local funeral homes or refer you to a funeral planning service to assist you with the funeral planning process. You will usually be required to make a decision within a matter of hours as to which funeral home you would like to take your loved one to for care. Again, you are not obligated to use that mortuary for the final disposition and service – you may later have your loved one transported to the facility of your choice. However, there may be a charge for this latter transport. Ideally, having that decision made in advance is best so your loved one stays in the care of the same funeral home.

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