When Death Occurs

A Kraft-Sussman Staff Member is available 24 hours a day.  Call us at (702) 485-6500  for assistance.

No matter if a death is sudden or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one.  When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering.  The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

If the person was not under hospice care, the police will have to be notified immediately.  The police will be dispatched to the home and place the call to the coroner/medical examiner.   The coroner/medical examiner will pronounce the death and call a funeral home to transport the deceased either to the office of the coroner/medical examiner or to a funeral home.  The coroner in Clark County NV uses a mortuary rotation system, as they don't have their own transport vehicles.  Families have the right to choose any funeral home they desire to transport and care for their loved one.  Even if you haven't made prior arrangements, you can call Kraft-Sussman 24 hours a day at (702) 485-6500.

If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death.  If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the funeral home to make arrangements, however, if you are not present a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements.  Hospitals in Southern Nevada do not have morgues.  Families are generally asked to identify which funeral home they want to use within an hour of the death.  Even if you haven't made prior arrangements, you can call Kraft-Sussman 24 hours a day at (702) 485-6500.

When a Death Occurs Out of Town

Under any circumstances, the death of a loved one is very difficult. It is even more so when the next of kin lives out of town or the death takes place out of town. Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services can help with both of these situations. We make the process as seamless as possible; providing the information you need to make wise, well-informed choices. Click here to read more.

Informing a Funeral Director

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a funeral director.  Funeral directors are here to help you obtain a death certificate, transport the deceased, and in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket/urn and arrange the funeral/memorial service.   Funeral directors are here to help and advise you and will work very hard to relieve the stress and logistics involved in funeral planning.

Meeting a Funeral Director

You should meet with a funeral director within 24 hours of a death to begin to make final arrangements for your loved one.  Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state, but funeral home staff have years of experience dealing with these issues and strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements

First the Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address
  • Marital Status
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Date and Location of Birth
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Occupation and Employer
  • Military History

If you wish to use life insurance to pay for the arrangements, be sure to bring a copy of your policy with you when you meet with the funeral home staff. 

Other items to bring should be to the funeral home include:

  • A photo of the deceased
  • Clothes for the deceased. If embalming is desired, a high neckline or scarf should be used.
  • Make-up the deceased used, if desired
  • Military discharge document, DD214
  • Marriage Certificate, if wishing to utilize the Veteran's cemetery

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service.  These include:

  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Scheduling the location, date and time for the services
  • Choosing funeral products
  • Arranging for the funeral clergy
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

A funeral director will guide you through all these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here the funeral services can be personalized.  Did your loved one have a favorite sports team?  What was their favorite type of music?  What activity was your loved one known best for?  Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honor the life of your loved one.