What To Do When Death Occurs

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If you’re currently experiencing a death in the family, we are here for you. Helping you through the funeral process with the utmost compassion is our gift to you.

Depending on where the death has occurred, there are certain steps you need to take. To connect with us right away, please call our 24-hour answering service.

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Hospital, Hospice or Nursing Home | When Death Occurs | Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery

Hospital, Hospice or Nursing Home

When the death occurs at a hospital, hospice or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of all necessary legal steps. In most cases you will simply need to notify the medical staff that Mountain View is the funeral home of choice so you can sign any necessary release paperwork.

Out of State | When Death Occurs | Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery

Out of State

If the death occurs outside of Arizona, call Mountain View at 866-684-1951. We will coordinate with a local funeral director in your area. If you travel often, our Travel Protection Plan will cover most costs associated with a death away from home.

At Home - Expected | When Death Occurs | Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery

At Home - Expected

Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to die at home under the care of hospice. In this situation, you will need to notify your hospice team that Mountain View is the funeral home of your choice. They will then take care of all necessary legal requirements. Many times when someone has a terminal illness, the family will elect to make pre-arrangements so that they are not overwhelmed with the many important decisions at the time of death.

At Home - Unexpected | When Death Occurs | Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery

At Home - Unexpected

In the event of an unexpected death at home or elsewhere, immediately call 911. The police and emergency medical personnel will determine the appropriate steps to be taken. In all cases, the police must notify the Medical Examiner who can then release the human remains directly to our funeral home. However, in certain cases, the body may need to go to the Medical Examiner’s office so that they can determine the cause of death.

Schedule a Funeral Arrangement Conference

Within the first 24 hours of your loved one’s passing, you will need to meet with a funeral director to begin the final arrangements. One of our funeral directors is always on-call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

What You Can Expect

Your Loved One’s Final Wishes

It’s important to know who is legally responsible for making the final decisions for a loved one.

If the deceased has not expressed their wishes through a written document such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, or a Last Will and Testament, where the deceased has designated an agent to fulfill their wishes, then the chain of command is typically as follows:

  • Legal Spouse/Partner
  • Surviving Adult Child/Children
  • Surviving Parent
  • Surviving Adult Sibling
  • Ex-Spouse
  • Parent of Minor Child

Obtaining a Death Certificate

If you have not already made pre-arrangements with Mountain View, our funeral directors will need some information from you in order to complete the death certificate. After the original certificate has been signed by the physician or medical examiner and all vital information completed by our funeral home, it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Certified copies of the death certificate are legal documents that are issued by the State of Arizona. Photocopies are not considered legal documents. During the consultation, we will ask you how many certified copies of the death certificate you need and we will obtain certified copies on your behalf. Although we try to obtain the certified copies prior to the completion of the funeral service, this is not always possible. Fees for certified copies are generally $20 each in most counties. Below is a list of items that may require a certified copy.

  • Each Life Insurance Company
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Pension, IRA or Other Retirement Benefits
  • Probate of Will
  • Banks With Open Accounts
  • Final Tax Return
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Your Own Files
  • Real Property

Please note that we will notify Social Security of the death so no death certificate is needed for that purpose. A government-use copy for Veterans Benefits is at no charge.

Do You Have Questions?

We are happy to answer all your questions in great detail.

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