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First Steps to Take When a Death Occurs

Someone you love just died and somehow planning a funeral was not part of the conversation and now you are not sure what are the next steps of what to do. Let the Catholic Cemeteries in the Diocese of San Jose help your loved one meet eternal life with faith, hope, and love. Contact us at 833-304-0763.

We believe that our responsibility is care for you and your loved ones before, during, and after a death occurs and the need for traditional cemetery services arises. Our various service offerings will help you with all the necessary steps to make your funeral arrangements as smooth as possible.

Gravestone & Yellow Leaves

Notify the Proper Authorities

  • If the death occurs under hospital or hospice watch, the proper authorities will be notified and help you make arrangements with the coroner’s office for transport of the remains.
  • If death happens at home, contact the local police or 911 for assistance. If your loved one is an organ donor, you’ll need to act quickly. If you’re not sure, check their driver’s license or will for instructions.

Contact Family and Friends

Reach out for help in making arrangements and locating key documents. Split up such tasks as contacting others who will want to know, providing support.

Contact Your Parish Priest

Arrange for the necessary rites to be administered.

Make Funeral Arrangements

Contact the Diocese of San Jose Cemetery funeral home partners.
If your loved one had a will or other document that indicate their desire for an in-ground burial or cremation wishes. If not, our family funeral home partners can guide you through the paperwork process, such as placing an obituary and ordering death certificates.

Gate of Heaven Cemetery Stone Bridge

Select Burial Location

Choose Burial Options

In-Ground Burial, Mausoleum, Crypts, Niche

Locate Key Documents

If the deceased prepared a will that names an executor to oversee the disposition of his or her estate; otherwise, the court will have to appoint one. Search for their files for a trust; insurance policies (life, home, and auto); bank, credit card, mortgage and loan accounts; safe deposit box key; contact information for lawyer, doctor, accountant or other professional advisors; and passwords to computers and other accounts.

Other Notifications

Notify appropriate government agencies, creditors, insurance companies and other organizations with which the deceased had business or financial arrangements. Typically, you’ll be required to submit a certified copy of the death certificate, make sure you order extra copies. The funeral home can help, or order through the county health department.

Pre-Plan with Catholic Cemeteries and Get Back to What Matters Most in Life