At Your Service: Managing important decisions prior to passing

My parent is dying, what do I need to prepare? What information do I need to bring to the Funeral Home?

My parent is dying, what do I need to prepare?

What information do I need to bring to the Funeral Home?

As a person or families prepare for a passing, there are a wide range of emotions that take over and families need to know that their loved one is going to be cared for in a timely and dignified manner.

In the final stages of life, decisions are more frequently made by the person dying and their family of whether to die at home in their own bed, a care home facility or hospital hospice setting.

If choosing to die at home, an order must be written between the patient and the patient’s physician and is a direction for no resuscitation, documented by the physician’s signature on the Ministry of Health No Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation form, as well as a “Notification of Expected Death in the Home.”

Having these orders in place is of critical importance. When a “No CPR Order” is in place the only phone calls needed to be made are to the funeral home 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The funeral director wants to take the worries away from the families so they can spend their time together knowing their loved one is being cared for.

When the choice of a funeral home has been made, it is a good time for families to notify their chosen funeral home of a pending death, so they can put some particulars in a file and make their on call staff aware as well.

Information that is needed for registering a person’s passing with vital statistics and for CPP Benefits include: The will of the deceased if made, birth certificate or baptism certificate, Social Insurance Card, BC Health Care Number (now the on back of BC Driver’s License or BC ID), status card if First Nation.

Funeral homes make certified copies of the identification and return it to the executor or the next of kin.

If there is a surviving spouse, CCP survivors benefits require certification of the spouse’s birth certificate or baptismal certificate, Social Insurance Card, BC health number and the couple’s marriage certificate or statutory declaration of common law status.

Two of the most challenging vital statistics questions families don’t always have the answers for are the names and birth places of the decedent’s parents including maiden name of the deceased’s mother.

Final disposition and funeral arrangements can be recorded before or after the death with the funeral director and can take place at the funeral home or in the comfort of your own home if you choose.

Ron Malmas is the managing director at Compassionate Care Funerals in Williams Lake. Please contact him at 250-392-3336 if you have a question you would like answered.