What to Do when Death Occurs
When a death occurs in your family, you will be faced with important tasks and decisions during a very difficult time. You are not alone. Stevens Mortuary is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you and your family.
We know it is vital for you to feel at ease and to have confidence in the funeral home you entrust to provide final arrangements for your loved one and for yourself. We are committed, dedicated, and honored to serve you.
While information listed below will serve as a guideline, please be assured we are available to personally help you every step of the way.
Funeral Planning Guide
Depending on where death occurs, the funeral home will be notified in the following manner:
…When death occurs in a hospital, nursing home, or similar facility, someone from the facility will make the initial call to the funeral home.
…When death occurs at home:
- If the deceased has been under Hospice care, the Hospice provider is usually authorized to call the funeral home and give permission to pick up the deceased.
- If death occurs unexpectedly, call 911.
You will need to schedule a time with the funeral director for the arrangement conference…after the appropriate person has notified the funeral home of the death.
If your loved one has a prearranged funeral, the funeral director will go over his or her arrangements with you. If your loved one does not have a prearranged funeral, the funeral director will assist you in making decisions about every aspect of the service…making sure your/your loved one’s wishes are met.
The funeral director will contact the cemetery or crematory to make necessary arrangements.
Please bring the following information about the deceased to the arrangement conference:
- Full legal name
- Address and telephone number
- Date of birth
- Place of birth: city, county, and state
- Level of education
- Marital status
- If married, first, middle, and maiden (if female) name of spouse
- Employment – where employed (even if retired) and job title
- Parents’ first and middle names and maiden name of mother
- Minister – name and telephone number
- Social Security Number: Please bring the deceased’s Social Security Card to the arrangement conference. The funeral home will file a Statement of Death (SSA-721) with Social Security. The next of kin will need to contact Social Security at 866-331-9091 within a week after death has occurred.
- Veterans Information: At the time of death, honorably discharged veterans are usually eligible for benefits, such as an American Flag, veteran marker for the grave, and the right to be buried in a military cemetery. We will need a copy of the Honorable Discharge (DD214) to apply for the benefits.
Clothing: You may bring clothing or purchase from our selection. Underclothes are required, shoes are not required but will be used if desired.
Hairdresser: Stevens Mortuary will provide a hairdresser or the family may provide a hairdresser. If you use Stevens’ hairdresser, please bring a photo to assist with the styling.
Jewelry and Eyeglasses: If you wish to use jewelry or glasses for the viewing, bring them to the funeral home. Please tell the funeral director if those items are to be returned to the family--specifically to whom. Glasses may be donated to the Eye Bank if you so desire.
Death Certificates: Certified copies of Death Certificates are needed for life insurance policies, probate court (if estate is probated), and may be needed for bank accounts and stock accounts, for example. The current charge for a certified copy is $7.00. Certified Death Certificates are usually available for the family within a couple of weeks.
Insurance Policies: As part of our service to the family, we will process your insurance claims. Please bring the original policy or policies with you to the arrangement conference. We will also need the name, address, and social security number of the beneficiary.
Obituaries: We will gather information for the obituary and type it for your approval before submitting to the newspaper. The deadline for submitting an obituary to the Knoxville News Sentinel is 4:00 p.m. daily (3:00 p.m. to the funeral home).
Donations: You may request that memorials be made to a specific charity, church, hospital, etc
Honorarium: The family may wish to pay the minister for assisting in their loved one’s services. The amount may be based on the relationship with that person. The same would apply for a singer or an organist. If you choose to use our organist, we will add our charge to your purchase agreement.
Cemetery: The charge to open and close the grave may need to be paid directly to the cemetery- depending on the cemetery policy. If you have cemetery lot information, please bring it with you to the arrangement conference.
Personalization: You may bring photos or other personal items to honor the memory of your loved one. We will assist you in displaying these items for the visitation. We also offer video tributes.
Flowers: You may select flowers from the florist of your choice after the arrangements are finalized.
Payment Options: We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and insurance assignment.