Immediate Need

When a Death Occurs

When a death has occurred, if you know the contracted funeral home, you may contact them directly.

If you don’t know or don’t have a contracted funeral home, call us at 650.321-2109 and we will help you choose one of our contracted funeral provider.

You may also view our discounted, members-only mortuary prices, as well as the retail prices at all the funeral homes and cemeteries in the seven Bay Area counties we serve.

Any Pre-Arrangements in Place?

If the deceased was one of our members, he or she should have already chosen a mortuary and a method of Disposition of the Body. Locate the Planning Form completed by our member, which states their desired wishes. (Note: We revised our Planning Form in 2021 to make it more complete, so the Planning Form you have on file may be the look like this.) 

While these pre-arrangements were made to ease the burden of decision-making for the survivors, Family-Managed Funerals are still an option.

In addition, if the decease isn’t a member, you may become a member at-need. Call our office to expedite a membership or go to our Member page to join online. 

Look for Information to Honor Last Wishes

Member or not, look for any written instructions the deceased may have left regarding his or her desires.

  • The deceased may have chosen a mortuary and may even have prepaid some of the costs (it is not possible to prepay all of the costs). Contact the chosen mortuary to proceed, especially if there has been prepayment.
  • The deceased may have already purchased a cemetery plot; if so, notify the funeral director about it.
  • The deceased may have set up a trust or bank account to pay for any funeral costs.  
  • The deceased may already have made arrangements for body-donation; contact the institution specified.

When Someone Is Dying: Four Necessary Activities

When someone you love is dying, the last thing on your mind will be end-of-life arrangements. The thought of funerals may not occur to you until death has occurred or is imminent. Read through the following sections to identify what you’ll need know to make informed decisions. 

1. Regulatory Paperwork

2. Handling the Body and Transportation

This involves moving the body from the place of death to the place of  final disposition. It may include temporary storage. Handling and transportation is usually done by a mortuary, but it may be done by the family with a Disposition Permit.  A Disposition Permit is required to deliver the body to a cemetery or crematory.

3. Disposition of the Body

The body may be disposed of by burial, cremation, or body-donation to a qualified institution for research. For veterans, the Navy provides a Burial at Sea program. 

Find more details on the different options available for disposition of the body. 

4. Paying for the Above

There are fees associated with all of the above. You can expect to pay for the following:

  • Regulatory paperwork
  • The funeral director or home funeral consultant for their services to you
  • Cremation or for a cemetery plot

In addition, if a Coroner is involved, you may have to pay for body bags, removal (transportation) fees and per-day storage charges. And, you may have to pay for transportation to the research institute where the body is donated.  

Almost all veterans can receive military funeral honors at no cost. They are also usually eligible for free memorial items including: Headstones, markers, and medallions.

Know more about obtaining assistance to help pay for some of these expenses.