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No matter if a death is sudden, or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one.  When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering.  The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.


If the person was not under hospice care, the police will have to be notified immediately.  The police will be dispatched to the home and place a call to the Justice of The Peace.  From there the Justice of the Peace will asses the body and determine whether further action is necessary.  If an autopsy is requested the Coroner/Medical Examiner must release the body before a Funeral Home can do anything.  If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.


The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death.  If you are present at the hospital when the Funeral Director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the Funeral Home to make arrangements, however, if you are not present a Funeral Director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements. 


Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a Licensed Funeral Director.  Not all Funeral Directors are alike.  We encourage you to meet ahead of time and interview them to ensure you are comfortable with them and their establishment.  Establishments are not all alike for instance, Crawford- Bowers Funeral Home Is a large corporate entity known as Service Corporate International, that serves locally for the Temple, Killeen and Copperas Cove and are nationwide.  Harper-Talasek is another corporate Funeral Home that is owned by Legacy Funeral Group in Houston, Tx.  Harper-Talasek Funeral Homes are serving Temple, Belton and Killeen areas.  Scanio-Harper Funeral Home is owned and operated by our local insurance officer who requires to hire Licensed Funeral Directors, Hewitt-Arney is a family owned and operated Funeral Home.  You might be asking why are Funeral Directors not all the same?  Many directors have completed the states requirements of an Associate’s degree which few may have higher education standards such as a Bachelor's in Mortuary Science.  Many directors further enhance their educational requirements with Certified Funeral Service Practitioners credentials.  With this CFSP designation they are up to date with the latest funeral and event planning trends.  No matter who you choose to serve you, Funeral Directors are here to help you obtain a Death Certificate, transport the body, and in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket/urn and arrange the Funeral/Memorial Service.  The Funeral Director will also help you notify the employer and insurance company of the deceased to assist with those arrangements.  Our Funeral Directors exceed educational requirements are here to help and advise you and will work very hard to relieve the stress and logistics involved in funeral planning at our Veteran, Woman locally owned Funeral Home. 


First the Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address
  • Marital Status
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Date and City of Birth
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Occupation and Employer
  • Social Security Number
  • Military Service Number( if applicable)

The funeral director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, those documents include:

  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Real Estate Deeds
  • Car and Boat Deeds
  • Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  • Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Loans and Leases
  • Copies of Bills (water, Cable, Phone etc.)
  • Doctors office and Pharmacy
  • Memberships
  • Last Will
  • Tax Returns

If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service.  These include:

  • Scheduling the location, date and time of the visitation and funeral service
  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Choosing Funeral Products
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

A Funeral Director will guide you through all these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one.  From here the Funeral Services can be personalized.  Did your loved one have a favorite sports team?  What was their favorite type of music?  What activity was your loved one known best for?  Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honor the life of your loved one.

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Our services and timelines of what to expect while we serve you 


Meet with the Funeral Director to plan arrangements.

 ID. View, Visitation/ Wake/ Vigil


You will receive a 24 hour phone call from the Funeral Director

(2 weeks)

Meet with the Funeral Service Advocate

Death Certificate(s)

PIN for Legacy Touch Keepsakes/fingerprints

Help close out accounts, change mail, notifications list

Meet with Sheldon Mitchel, to prepare and update Estate Planning

Last Will and Testament

Beneficiary Designations

Durable Power of Attorney

Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will

(1 month-9 months)

Grief Meetings are available for you for free!

Headstone setting ceremony at cemetery and flower plans

Gravemaker for genealogy for free!

Call from Funeral Service Advocate to Discuss your Funeral Arrangements

(End of the year)

Memorial Program for Christmas

A walk to remember through our city park showcasing your loved one

Follow us on Facebook for events and ways to stay connected in grief.

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