Questions That Arise at the Time of Death

Posted on January 26, 2018 by Martin Oaks under Community, Cremation, Resources
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When a loved one passes, seemingly thousands of questions begin to arise. If a family has no experience with final disposition, these questions can be overwhelming.

Additionally, the emotional impact of the passing complicates the situation tenfold. It is hard enough making clear decisions about even the smallest aspects of final disposition without the pressure of trying to sort through details of post-death matters.

Questions to ask when someone passes away

States vary in the process, but here in Texas, it is a fairly straightforward procedure. Our advice is to find the most qualified funeral director who can navigate you through these troubled waters. There is no substitute for an experienced, reputable funeral director.

What Should You Do In The Event Of A Passing?

Hopefully, pre-funeral arrangements has taken place: operating on the fly, so to speak, under difficult circumstances is not recommended. The funeral directors who work with us here at Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory are all proven, experienced, and fully knowledgeable about the process you are about to undergo.

Some basic questions you will face are related to the method of final disposition you choose. Are you looking for a traditional funeral, a memorial services, a simple cremation, or some combination of the above? Each family has unique requirements about post-death care; these requirements, which can be clarified with the help of a funeral director, ultimately come down to a matter of personal preference.

As we have stated many times, the simplest form of final disposition is direct cremation. There are some families, however, who prefer a different final goodbye. And, again, these issues are best solved as a family unit with the aid of a competent funeral director.

Death Certificate Requirements

The next question you may face concerns the requirements for a death certificate. You will definitely will need a death certificate, as it is legally required. Your funeral director will be there to help you with this process of preparing and filing a death certificate. It is probable that you will want additional copies, and they can be ordered at the time of death. Many recommend at least 5 certified copies.

As the next of kin, should you require additional copies later, you may go to the Texas Department of State Health Services to obtain a mail-in form – also, feel free to go to the Vital Statistics Office in the county the death occurred.

What happens if some years go by, and you want a certificate of death?

In order to get that certificate, you must be an immediate family member with appropriate documentation.

Is embalming required in the state of Texas?

If final disposition does not occur quickly (24 hours), a body must be embalmed, refrigerated or put in a leak and odor proof container. Again, your funeral director will be able to answer that question.

Is a casket required for cremation?

In a word, no. Following the cremation, the cremains will be returned to the family in a temporary urn.

There are numerous questions involving scattering that we here at Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory get. Basically, scattering can take place on private land and cemeteries with appropriate permission. If you wish to scatter ashes on public land, federal land, or at sea there are guidelines for scattering which must be followed.

Our strongest hope is that you seek all of this information before you are in a crisis situation at the time of passing. We will be happy to recommend funeral directors who can assist you based on your needs and location. Additionally, the Texas Funeral Service Commission in Austin, Texas has a website ( and can be contacted at 512-936-2474 for more information.

We here at Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory understand that the passing of a loved one can be extremely traumatic. Our hopes and our prayers are with you in that difficult time.

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