Steps to Take at The Time of Death

Steps to Take At The Time Of Death

Depending on where the death occurs and under what circumstances, this explains what you should do when the death occurs: 

  • Death in an Institution: When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of all necessary legal steps. You just need to notify the medical staff that Ramsey Funeral Home is the funeral home of your choice and that you wish to have us handle the arrangements. At this time they will have you sign any necessary release paperwork.
  • Anticipated Death at Home: Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to die at home under the care of hospice. In this situation, you just need to notify Hospice that Ramsey Funeral Home is the funeral home of your choice,they will then take care of all necessary legal requirements.
  • Unanticipated Death at Home or Elsewhere: In these situations, immediately call 911. The police and emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to betaken. Often, the police can 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.
  • Death out of state: If the death occurs outside of Texas, you should call Ramsey Funeral Home at(512) 869-7775. We can coordinate with a local funeral direct or regardless of what state you are visiting at the place of death.  

Funeral Arrangement Conference

To assure that one of our funeral directors is immediately available and can devote the personal attention and time needed to make the arrangements, we would request that you call to schedule a mutually convenient arrangement time. Although the vast majority of funeral conferences are handled at our funeral home during normal business hours, we are always available to come to your residence or meet in the evenings or weekends. One of our funeral directors is always on duty 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

When you come to the conference, you may want to bring with you the following items:

  • Military Discharge Papers (Form DD214)
  • Recent Photograph for newspaper &preparation purposes
  • Clothing - all normal items including undergarments, other than shoes. For women, an outfit closed at the neckline and long sleeves are preferred.
  • Jewelry & personal items - these items can either be brought to the arrangement conference, or on the day of the visitation. You will be given a receipt for such items which will also list your requested disposition

At the funeral arrangement conference, if you have not already made pre-arrangements with Ramsey Funeral Home, our funeral directors will need to obtain some vital information for completing the death certificate. Certified copies of the death certificate are legal documents and are issued by the State of Texas Vital Statistics offices. Photocopies are not considered legal documents.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. Fees for certified copies vary from county to county within the State.

During the funeral arrangement conference, we will ask you how many certified copies of the death certificate are needed. As part of our services, 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. In order to assist you in ascertaining the number of certified copies needed, below is a checklist:

* Each Life Insurance Company

* Motor Vehicles

* Pension, IRA or other retirement benefits

* Probate of Will

* Each bank account* 

* 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.

Commonly Asked Questions

Why is the selection of a Funeral Home so important?
A death forces you to deal with a world of details you may know little about and at a time when you are most vulnerable. Since you must depend in large part on guidance from a funeral home, it is important that you have confidence that these advisers are open, honest, and have your best interests at heart when helping you plan a funeral.

Why should I choose Ramsey Funeral Home to make advance arrangements?
We believe in comprehensive care. Our services can start long before a funeral is needed and they extend well beyond the funeral itself. We provide bereavement counseling, grief support groups,and personal follow-up to your family after the death all at no cost.

How is Ramsey Funeral Home different from every other funeral home?
We offer unrivaled continuity of care, from advance planning, to at-need arrangements, to bereavement counseling. We attempt to provide all options to assure the most personalized service possible. And we are most concerned with how we provide those services: our counselors are trained and expected to do what is in the best interest of the family being served, never to follow"must" guidelines or selling strategies. Where do I go to start making my advance funeral plans? Basically, wherever you feel most comfortable. You can make an appointment to meet with a Ramsey Funeral Home director in the privacy and comfort of your own home,or at the Ramsey Funeral Home location.

Why is embalming recommended?
Embalming is important for maintaining the health and safety of the public and the funeral home staff. This procedure ensures the preservation of the body from the time of death until disposition and it allows us to create an acceptable physical appearance of the deceased for the visitation time. Certain regulations also exist that make embalming necessary if the body is to be conveyed by public transportation.

Can you perform the funeral service even though I already own my cemetery lot?
Yes. Where you own cemetery space should have no bearing on which funeral home you select.

We are not members of a church. Who would conduct the service?
If you desire a religious service, your funeral director can make arrangements for you with a local clergyman from a denomination with which your family has had some past association. Or if a more intimate or informal approach is preferred, a family member might offer a few simple words. A good friend could read some poetry. You could even plan a music-only service with no speaker. Any of these can be appropriate, as long as the form of service you select will be meaningful to your family.

What is the value in viewing?
Viewing is an important time because it reinforces the reality of death. It may not be easy to do, but that is okay. Viewing allows family and friends to see that their loved one is at rest and free from pain and discomfort. It gives us a peaceful memory to cherish.

Is sending flowers a waste of money?
No. Sending flowers to a funeral service is a way of showing that you care, and are thinking about a family in their time of loss.Flowers add beauty to the service and soften the memory of the event in the family's mind. Traditionally, they symbolize the cycle of all life and help us understand that death is a normal part of our existence on earth. So even though many may request memorial contributions to a charity instead, flowers are still valid, appropriate and thoughtful ways to express your sympathies.