When a Death Occurs

What to bring with you to the funeral home


There are a number of items that you will need to bring to the funeral home in the days before the funeral service. Bringing as much as possible with you to the arrangement conference will help with the planning process.


  • A photo of your loved one to use in their online obituary.
  • Paperwork:


  • General information about the deceased (birth date, city and state of birth, Social Security number, parent’s names, educational institutions, marital status)
  • Copies of life insurance policies
  • Military discharge papers (DD 214 form) if applicable
  • Cemetery paperwork if applicable
  • Funeral prearrangement paperwork if applicable


  • Personal effects:


  • Clothing, undergarments, shoes, glasses (if applicable) and jewelry for your loved one


What to expect at the funeral arrangement conference:

The funeral arrangement conference is the primary planning session for the funeral services for your loved one. Our staff will be in communication with you during the days leading up to your services, to finalize many details, but the majority of decisions will be made at this conference.

You can expect to be at the arrangement conference for approximately one and a half to two hours. During this time we will assist you in creating a service that truly reflects and honors the life of your loved one. We will also help you with selecting merchandise and developing an online memorial to your loved one. Finally, we will discuss your wishes regarding cemetery property and a marker or monument.

Some families choose to have one or two family representatives attend the conference, while other families prefer that everyone be present. We can accommodate whatever meets your needs. If you plan to have more than six family members attending, please let us know in advance so we will be prepared for your arrival.

Many of the details covered in the arrangement conference can be taken care of in advance. Our staff is available to sit down and discuss your wishes ahead of time, whenever is convenient for you. Often, when a death is considered to be imminent by medical professionals, a family will come in to the funeral home and make their selections, reducing the number of decisions that need to be made after the death occurs. For more information, please see our advance planning section.

Applying for benefits


Our staff will file a notice with Social Security that your loved one has died. Please provide your funeral director with your loved one’s Social Security number to begin the process. After the notification, you should contact Social Security to discuss benefits for you and your family. They can be reached at 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, please be sure to call between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Benefits vary by a number of conditions, including the age and relation of the surviving family members, and can also change over time. Please review the information and instructions at the Social Security website, www.SocialSecurity.gov for the most up-to-date information.

Veterans, please see our veteran’s benefits page

Filing paperwork with banks, utilities and more.

After the death of a loved one, many families are surprised by the number of individuals and organizations that must be notified in order to claim benefits, change billing addresses or end services

Some of these entities include your loved one’s bank, credit card provider, church, accountant, attorney, estate executor, home, life and health insurance providers, utility companies, phone company, home maintenance providers, physician, dentist, newspaper and magazine subscription offices and government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the US Postal Service, Veterans Administration and the voters’ registration office, and many others.

This can be an overwhelming task, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Our staff can provide you with a Resource Guide with sample letters to all of these entities to assist you in the notifications. The Guide is available in paper or CD format. It will help you work through all of the notifications in an orderly manner, streamlining the process.

You will need a certified copy of your loved one’s death certificate in order to make many of these notifications. Our staff will take care of ordering the certificates from the Office of Vital Statistics and notify you when they are ready. A photo copy of the certificate is often enough for many organizations, but we recommend obtaining several certified copies as a precaution. We can also order more copies to you in the future if necessary.


The familes of Stephen Doughty

Dear Kevin & Staff "Thank you so much for your help & guidance through our difficult time at the passing of S. Doughty.  We would hesitate to recommend Advantage Funeral Services to anyone!" ~ Phil Doughty... Read more...

Roland Rancourt Jr.

Dear Kevin, On behalf of Larry Rancourts family, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for the services provided for my brother Larry's funeral and especially the day of the service, Friday, May 3rd. Your son Sean and his assistant Mason were truly professional in every... Read more...

The Jenkins Family

Dear Mr. Kilcline We are writing to express our sincere gratitude for your assistance in the care, planning, and cremation of our daughter this past July.  My husband and I, fortunately, had never participated in this type of experience, or any type of estate planning what-so-ever.  Every... Read more...

The Nason Family

Sean, Kevin and Staff, "Thank you so much for all you did throughout the process and after my Mom's passing.  You were all so compassionate and caring.  We could not have had a better company and group of people to handle such a delicate, sad and stressful time in people's lives.  You all were s... Read more...

The Canane and Blyther Families

"We want to express our heartfelt gratitude for the kindness you have extended to the Canane and Blyther Family during one of the worst moments in our lives. Families anticipating the arrival of a new baby spend their resources preparing for the baby's arrival. No One expects to have to deal with fu... Read more...