The number of things that must be taken care of at the time of a death can be overwhelming, especially for grieving family members. We’ve compiled a checklist of the most common needs. Riverview and/or your funeral director can help you with most of these items.

Choices to make

  • Cremation or traditional burial
  • Cemetery property (even if you choose cremation), including a monument or marker
  • A site for a ceremony
  • Casket (if traditional burial) or urn (if cremation)
  • Clothing
  • Flowers
  • Pallbearers
  • Music, and singers or musicians (for the ceremony)
  • Transportation to/from the service
  • Food/facility for gathering after the ceremony

People to contact

  • Doctor or coroner
  • Funeral director
  • Cemetery
  • Clergy or place of worship
  • Relatives and friends
  • Employers of family members who’ll be absent from work
  • Insurance agents
  • Unions or fraternal organizations
  • Newspaper (obituary) – for help writing an obituary, visit
  • Attorney, accountant and/or executor of the estate
  • City or county (death certificate)

Other items to consider

  • Write thank you cards
  • Prepare and sign necessary papers
  • Provide lodging for out-of-town guests

You may need to pay for:

  • Doctor and hospital bills
  • Funeral service, including florist, music and food
  • Cemetery property, including monument or marker
  • Cost of cremation (if applicable)
  • Clergy
  • Transportation
  • Newspaper obituary
  • Paperwork filing fees