When A Death Occurs

1.)  Notify the funeral home as soon as a death has occurred (Vantrease Funeral Home, 618-596-2111) we will arrange a time to meet with the family or other responsible party to gather vital statistics information for the completion of legal paperwork and newspaper obituary notices. Some of the information concerning the deceased which we will need to obtain from the family includes:

– Birthdate

– Birthplace (City, State)

– Father’s Name

– Mother’s Name (Including maiden name)

– Social Security Number

– Marital Status

– Educational level (Highest grade completed)

If the deceased is a veteran, a copy of the DD-214 (Honorable Discharge) is needed in order to file for any available benefits and to obtain a flag and/or military headstone/monument.


2.)  Compile a listing of family members, friends, neighbors, business associates, etc. along with their phone numbers. Each should be notified of the death, as well as advised of funeral arrangements.


3.)  Compile information for the obituary. This information would include: name, date of birth, place of birth, parent’s names (including mother’s maiden name), marriage date/place, and survivors (including children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and any other relatives to be mentioned by name). Also, obituaries may include names of family members who have preceded the individual in death. Other information which may be included in the obituary would be educational and/or occupational information, hobbies, interests, memberships, church affiliation, etc. Visitation and funeral service arrangements will be included along with the name of the clergy officiating, and the place of burial. If memorials are specified to a specific organization, this information will also be included. The staff of the funeral home will write the obituary for you and submit it to your choice of newspapers and radios once you have provided us with this information. Please be aware that obituary charges vary from newspaper to newspaper.


4.)  Decide upon an appropriate charitable organization to which contributions may be made in memory of the deceased.


5.)  Compile a list of pallbearers (customarily six), we will be glad to contact them for you.


6.)   Gather insurance information, including name of company and policy number. Vantrease Funeral Home will assist your family in notifying the insurance company of the death and in the completion of necessary paperwork.


7.)  Determine the number of certified copies of the Death Certificate which you will need. These may be required for insurance policies, investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, transfer of real estate, tax preparation, estate matter, etc. The cost of death certificates varies from county to county and state to state. Vantrease Funeral Home will handle the completion and filing of the death certificate for you.


8.)  Vantrease Funeral Home will notify Social Security for you. In a week or so, contact Social Security to see that the number is retired. Our local Social Security office at West Frankfort, IL may be reached at 618-937-2431. At this time you may also request the $255 death benefit. This benefit is payable ONLY if there is a surviving spouse, a child under the age of 18, or a disabled child.


9.)  If monthly Social Security payments are received by automatic deposit, you will need to notify the bank of the death.


10.)  Make arrangements for family members or close friends to assist you with phone calls. It is also helpful to have someone help you keep track of food being brought to the home.



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