Where to Begin

Immediate Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

Providing care to our beloved community in Ossining, NY. 


As a funeral home, we understand the immense emotional burden accompanying losing a loved one. When someone dies, it is essential to approach the situation with care and compassion.

Our dedicated team at Dorsey Funeral Home is here to guide you through this difficult time. The funeral planning process can be overwhelming, but we recommend contacting us to make arrangements. We will assist you in making decisions regarding the funeral service, burial or cremation options, and any necessary paperwork. Continue reading this page to discover the immediate steps after a loved one dies.

Within Hours

When a loved one dies at home or in a place that isn’t a healthcare facility, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel before they can be taken into our care. Calling their physician is also a good idea if your loved one is under medical supervision.

If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility, they will notify the proper authorities, including the funeral home you have chosen to care for your loved one, if they know that information.

Emergency and medical personnel involved in this process will help you obtain a medical certificate and other necessary paperwork.

This part of the process is often the most emotional, and we are here to help and support you. If you’re not sure what to do, call us any time.

Within the First Few Days

You’ll want to notify close friends and relatives through personal phone calls and your loved one’s death notice. If this process is too painful, asking a trusted family member or friend to help you is okay.

This also is the time to review your loved one’s preplanned funeral wishes and meet with a funeral director to begin planning their service. If your loved one did not preplan their funeral, you might want to start thinking about a few of the big choices you will need to make, such as:

  • Burial or Cremation
  • Green Burial is another option 
  • If burial, the type of casket
  • If burial, the location of their final resting place in a grave or mausoleum
  • If cremation, the type of urn
  • If cremation, the location of their final resting place through burial or ash scattering
  • Any religious services you will need, such as clergy or spiritual leaders
  • The types of services you want, such as a viewing, service, graveside memorial, etc.


These questions are just a starting point; you don’t need to know the answers immediately. Don’t hesitate to contact us to understand your options better. We’re here to make this process easier for you.

What to Expect When We Meet

When you meet with a staff member to discuss your arrangements, we’ll first provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of the costs of our services.

We’ll then ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the services will honor. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one’s life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. Our professionals will use this information to guide you in creating a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one’s life.

This process may include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
  • Selecting a casket, urn, or other products, you may need
  • Drafting an obituary
  • Arranging necessary transportation
  • Selecting pallbearers


We want to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can, so remember to bring the following information about your loved one with you as well:

  • Full legal name and home address
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Veteran’s discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
  • Highest education
  • Occupation
  • Information about the burial location, if applicable
  • Clergy name and phone number, if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors
  • Insurance policy information if used to pay for funeral expenses


Please also bring a recent photograph and any clothing you’d like us to use when dressing them for the service. Check out our FAQs page if you need more information. 



Talk to Our Funeral Directors 

Immediate Support in NY 

Our website offers valuable resources and information to help you navigate through the various aspects of funeral planning. Still, please feel free to call us anytime. Remember, you don't have to go through this alone - our compassionate professionals are here to support you every step of the way.




Funeral Services

Dorsey Funeral Home Inc.
Phone: (914) 941-0167
14 Emwilton Pl., Ossining, NY 10562

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