When a death occurs in your family, you’ll be faced with legal duties and major decisions. It’s a very difficult time, and you may not know what to do or when to begin making arrangements. That responsibility can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, Cremation Society of Washington is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you make those necessary arrangements. Our secure online service makes the whole process of arranging a cremation easy and gives you control from your home or office. No appointment with a funeral director is necessary.
No matter when and where a death occurs, call us as soon as possible. We’ll ask a few questions, such as the name and address of the person who has died, where the death took place, and the name of the attending doctor and of the next-of-kin.
Once we have those essential details, we can transfer your loved one into our care. Procedures differ depending on where the death takes place and if it was anticipated:
When death occurs in a health care facility
If your loved one dies in a hospital or nursing home, all you have to do is call us. The medical staff at the health care facility will ensure all legal requirements are met. They may also call Cremation Society of Washington on your behalf, but to be safe, you or a family member should call us directly.
When an anticipated death occurs at home
Many people with terminal illnesses prefer to die at home in more familiar and peaceful surroundings, with family and friends close by. If this happens, the first step is to call the hospice or doctor treating your loved one. They will first report the death to the county and complete all county requirements. Then they will contact us to transfer your loved one into our care.
When the death is unexpected
If your loved dies suddenly at home or anywhere else outside of a health care facility, you must call 911 immediately. The local police will come to the place of death and decide what is to be done next.
If your loved one was apparently healthy and the death is non-suspicious, the police will call the Medical Examiner (ME) and await instructions. Depending on the circumstances, the ME may require an autopsy to be performed and take the body into custody. If the ME confirms that no autopsy is required, call us immediatly. We’ll come to you as soon as possible, usually within an hour or two.
If the death is suspicious, the ME will almost certainly order an autopsy and take custody of the body. After the autopsy has been conducted, the ME will contact us to transfer your loved one into our care.
When death takes place out of state
If your loved one has pre-arranged their cremation with us and the death takes place outside of Washington, call us immediatly. You do not need to contact a local funeral director in the state where your loved one died. That will only result in additional expenses for the family. We can make all the necessary arrangements through agents based across the country.
When death occurs outside the USA
If the death is in a foreign country, please call our office. We have contacts and networks all over the world and can usually help in some way. Those with MASA’s Away From Home Plan, which offers extra protection to travelers in the USA and abroad, will have their pre-arranged wishes carried out at no extra cost.