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When a Death Occurs

Making the First Phone Calls

When someone dies, it is often up to the closest relative or friend to make the first phone calls. These include calling the doctor, the funeral home, and anyone else who must be notified. It can be a difficult task, but it is essential to stay organized and track who you have talked to and what they have said.


Funeral Home Arrangements

Once you have made all the necessary phone calls, it is time to start making arrangements with the funeral home. They will help you plan the service and take care of everything about burying or cremating the body. It is essential to discuss your options with the funeral home and make sure they know any special requests.


Burial or Cremation

Another important decision you will need to make is whether you want the body buried or cremated. Burial is a more traditional option, while cremation is becoming increasingly popular. You will need to decide what you want to be done with the ashes after the cremation process is complete.


Notifying Friends and Family

Once the arrangements have been made, it is time to notify friends and family members about the death. It can be a difficult task, but everyone must know what has happened. You can do this in many ways, such as a formal announcement, a phone call, or a personal visit.

If the death occurred at home, you must contact the funeral home to prepare the body for services. If the death occurred in a hospital or hospice, the staff there will typically notify the appropriate parties.


The Importance of Making Arrangements

Making arrangements for a loved one's death can be difficult, but it is crucial to do everything possible to ensure that their final wishes are carried out. By taking care of these details, you can help ensure that your loved one's passing is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

When someone dies, it is often up to their closest family members to make the necessary arrangements. This includes contacting the funeral home, arranging for burial or cremation, and notifying friends and family members of the death.

It is important to remember that there is no "right" way to handle a loved one's death. Some families choose to have a traditional funeral service, while others opt for a more informal gathering. The most important thing is to do what feels suitable for you and your family.

If you are unsure of how to proceed, it may be helpful to consult with a funeral home or grief counselor. They can help you navigate the difficult waters of death and provide support during this difficult time.


How We Register a Death

When a death occurs, it is important to have the deceased's body released to a funeral home as soon as possible. In Knoxville, the law requires that the body be released to a licensed funeral home within 24 hours of death unless the family has made other arrangements.


The Death Registration Process Consists of the Following Steps:

The funeral director will contact the local vital statistics office. The vital statistics office will then send a registrar to the deceased's home to verify the death and collect information about the deceased. The registrar will also obtain information about the next of kin and possible funeral arrangements.

The registrar will then complete a death certificate which will include information such as the name of the deceased, date of death, and cause of death. The death certificate will be sent to the provincial vital statistics office, where it will be stored in a registry file.

Funeral directors are responsible for registering deaths, and they play an important role in ensuring that the registration process is completed smoothly and efficiently. The details of your loved one's death can be provided on request to the funeral director by any appropriate person. The requested information can come from any number of sources, including:

  • These details can come from any person present at their passing or an appropriate source, such as a close family member.
  • If there are no close relatives, then any person can provide these details on behalf of someone else.
  • If no one is available, these details can come from any adult present or even an administered document if it's been filled out ahead of time!
  • This could be done through either an adult who knows about the death or by someone else altogether.
  • This individual lives in or near where the deceased died.
  • The coroner has been notified of the death and held an inquiry into how it happened.


To register a death in Tennessee, you will need the following information:

  • The full name of the deceased
  • The Social Security number of the deceased
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Name and address of the funeral home handling arrangements
Once you have gathered this information, you can call the Knox County Vital Records office at (865) 215 - 5657, and they will be able to help you further.
Vital Records is responsible for maintaining all the vital records for Knox County, including births, deaths, and marriages. They keep track of all the vital events in the county and issue certified copies of these documents.
The staff at Vital Records will be able to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about registering a death. They can also provide you with helpful resources and advice on dealing with the death of a loved one.
If you are unsure about what steps to take after a death occurs, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-865-633-5200. We are here to help you every step of the way.


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