1 East Central Ave., South Williamsport, PA 17702 • 570-322-0743

When a Death Occurs

From the type of funeral service, flowers, and memorials to insurance and the legal aspects, there’s a lot to think about following the death of a loved one. Here you’ll find useful information to help with decision-making.

Funeral/Memorial Services:

One of the first decisions is how the deceased would have liked to been remembered. There are many considerations:

  • Will the body be present?
  • Will the service be public or private?
  • Will there be calling hours during what’s called either visitation, a wake, or a shivah?
  • Where should flowers or other forms of memorials be sent?
  • Will young children be in attendance?

Should Young Children Attend?
Authorities on grief and bereavement attest that children as young as seven be encouraged to attend a funeral service. To shut a child out of the experience is to deny that child a meaningful life experience. However, if a child is unwilling, he or she should not be forced to attend or be made to feel guilty for “letting the family down.”

Certificate of Death:

The Charles M. Noll Funeral Home takes care of procuring the permanent record of death, which then becomes a permanent record with the registrar of vital statistics in the place where the death occurred. Certified copies will be necessary for you or your attorney to settle certain estate details, such as:

  • Insurance claims
  • Veterans Administration Benefits
  • Sale or transfer of tangible property
  • Sale or transfer of stock and bond certificates
  • Banking transactions
  • Motor vehicle registration transfers

Families place a request for the amount of death certificates they wish to have with the Charles M. Noll Funeral Home at arrangements, & receive the certified copies at the time of funeral service & final disposition.

Legal Aspects of Death:

Selecting a Lawyer — Selection of legal guidance should be made on past experience or by a personal acquaintance. If you do not have a lawyer or an idea of whom to trust, we are always available to help you in selecting a legal counsel by recommending a competent attorney.

Insurance claims — Begin by contacting your local insurance company branch or agent. Send a letter with name of the deceased, date of death and policy number, along with a certified copy of the death certificate. Do not surrender the policy without an authorized receipt. Within a week or two you should receive the face value amount of the policy.

Estate — With the help of a trusted lawyer, the estate or earthly possessions of the deceased must be distributed. The will will have to be filed, the executor sworn, and assets will need to be determined and distributed accordingly.

Other considerations — Be sure to consider your loved one’s Social Security benefits, pension benefits, and benefits for survivors of veterans, if applicable.

Selecting Cemetery Plots and/or Monuments:

Be sure to slow down and give careful thought to the cemetery you select. Does it meet the requirements of your family’s religious beliefs? Are there any restrictions on monuments or memorials erected? If you are able, avoid a hasty purchase of a memorial and be sure the monument dealer you select is reputable.

If you need help finding a reputable monument dealer, we are always available to aid you in your selection by making an informed suggestion.