When Death Occurs

When Death Occurs

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming, but you are not alone in this. We’re here to support you throughout this journey and make this process one of love, healing, and life celebration. Below is some information to help you get started, but you can contact us at any time if you need help.

Depending on where the death occurs and under what circumstances, this explains what you should do when the death occurs:

  • Death in an Institution: When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of all necessary legal steps. You just need to notify the medical staff that Shoreline Memorial Services is the funeral home handling arrangements so they can have you sign any necessary release paperwork.
  • Anticipated Death at Home: Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to die at home under the care of hospice. In this situation, you just need to notify Hospice that Shoreline Memorial Services is the funeral home of your choice, they will then take care of all necessary legal requirements. Many times when someone has a terminal illness, the family will elect to make prearrangements with us so that they are not overwhelmed with the many important decisions at the time of death.
  • Unanticipated Death at Home or Elsewhere: In these situations, immediately call 911. The police and emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken. Often, the police can release the deceased directly to our funeral home. However, in certain cases, the body may need to go to the Medical Examiner’s office so that they can determine the cause of death.
  • Death Out of State: If the death occurs outside of Michigan, you should call Shoreline Memorial Services. We can coordinate with a local funeral director at the place of death and can often save families money by having our firm make the arrangements.

In any event, we will arrange for transportation for the deceased and make contact with your family, either immediately or within 24 hours, depending on your availability and the circumstances. Please feel free to call us at any time during this process. Our professional staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Funeral Arrangement Conference

To assure that one of our funeral directors is immediately available and can devote the personal attention and time needed to make the arrangements, we would request that we make mutual contact. When we call you (or you us) we will discuss what your thoughts and plans may be. We will set up an appointment time, when we can get together at your convenience, either in your home or at our facility. We will let you know the information we will need from you depending on your individual circumstances. This “arrangement conference” is the time we spend together discussing what you want us to do. We will also be getting necessary information, forms and signatures from you at this time. We will offer guidance, support and as many options as you need. Please keep in mind that we want what you want. This process can take up to two hours or so. We go as fast or slow as you wish. Our overall goal is to succeed in making a difficult time just a little less difficult for your family.

When you come to the conference, you may want to bring with you the following items:

  • Social Security Number of the deceased
  • Military Discharge Papers (Form DD214)
  • Recent photograph for newspaper & possible preparation purposes
  • Any insurance documents you may need assistance with

If applicable:

  • Clothing – all normal items including undergarments (shoes are optional). For women, an outfit closed at the neckline and long sleeves are preferred.
  • Jewelry & personal items – these items can either be brought to the arrangement conference or on the day of the visitation.

During the funeral arrangement conference we will ask you how many certified copies of the death certificate are needed. Certified copies of the death certificate are legal documents and are issued by the State of Michigan Vital Statistics offices. As part of our services, we will obtain certified copies on your behalf. In order to assist you in ascertaining the number of certified copies needed, below is a worksheet:

Each Life Insurance Company

  1. Vehicle and Boat transfers
  2. Pension, IRA or other retirement benefits
  3. Probate of Will
  4. Each bank an account is maintained (Banks will take photo copies in most cases)
  5. State & Federal Tax Returns
  6. Stocks and Bonds
  7. Some Credit Card Companies
  8. Prearranged Funeral or Cemetery Contracts
  9. Real Estate Transactions
  10. Government Employee Claims/Pension Claims
  11. Your Own Files



These are some of the items you may be selecting at the time of the arrangement conference.

  • Urn selections starting at $95.00
  • Casket Selections starting at $645.00
  • Burial Vault Selection starting at $895.00
  • Cremation jewelry is available
  • Memorial folders/book/thank you card packages starting at $150.00


Shoreline Memorial Services - Muskegon
(231) 722-5050
Fax: (231) 563-6571
137 E. Laketon Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442
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Shoreline Memorial Services - Whitehall
(231) 893-5300
Fax: (231) 292-1628
816 S. Mears Ave., Whitehall, MI 49461
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