For immediate assistance please call: 617-969-0800

When Death Occurs

Whether death is sudden or expected, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. The following is a guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.

When Death Occurs At Home

If the person was not under hospice care, the first phone call must be to “911.” Once the proper authorities arrive, they will make the determination as to whether or not the Medical Examiner must be notified. If the circumstances of death were anything other than natural, the Medical Examiner will take the deceased to their facility for further investigation. If the death was natural and the deceased was under a doctor’s care, in most cases the Medical Examiner will not take jurisdiction and you may then call the funeral home for the removal of the deceased to the funeral home facility.

If the person was under hospice care but hospice was not present at the time of death, contact the hospice representative who will then instruct you on the procedure to follow.

When A Death Occurs At A Hospital/Nursing Home/Hospice Facility

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. It is important that you notify that facility immediately of your choice of a funeral home. If death occurs in a hospital, they may require the legal next-of-kin to sign an authorization for the funeral home to remove the deceased.

Contacting The Funeral Home

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, call Brezniak Funeral Directors at 617-969-0800. In Massachusetts, the funeral home is responsible for all that occurs from the time of death through the burial or cremation. This includes transportation and preparation of the deceased, the legal documentation, coordination with clergy and cemetery, and directing the funeral service.

Making Funeral Arrangements

We will meet in person, or via phone or video, to review all of the necessary details to prepare for the funeral service and burial or cremation. During that meeting, we will collect the information to complete the Massachusetts Certificate of Death, and guide you through the choices and decisions that need to be made. If you call the funeral home prior to death, a funeral director may guide you to the Information Sheet tab on our website, where you may submit the statistical information electronically.


We can help you and your family plan for the future.

When Death Occurs

Be informed on the proper steps to take.

Contact Us

In your time of need, we're here to help. We're available 24/7.