What Do I Do When A Relative Dies in AZ?

The steps that need to be taken following the death of a relative depend largely on how the death occurred. The death could be expected or unexpected, occur at home or in a hospice, or could be completely accidental. If the death occurred in a hospice, typically end of life plans have most likely already been discussed. For purposes of this article the assumption will be that the death was unexpected, occurred in the home and no end of life plans had been discussed.

Immediately upon discovering the death of a relative the first thing that should be done is to call the paramedics. A legal pronunciation of death needs to be made by either a paramedic or a physician. If the deceased has do-not-resuscitate orders these should be provided to the paramedics when they arrive on the scene. Once a legal pronunciation has been made, the body should be transported to a mortuary or crematorium. Often times, hospitals will provide this information, or it may already be specified in the decedent’s will, if one exists. An increasingly popular option has also been decedent’s donating their body to science. Often times these companies will provide a small card with this information and the company who is taking the body will arrange for the transportation and other expenses. Some other things to consider may be notifying other close family and friends, notifying any primary care physician, notify any employer or union regarding benefits or life insurance and in many cases in may be necessary to provide for the care of any pets the decedent took care of.