Survivor Checklist

  Survivor Checklist

Planning a funeral is never easy.  We have provided the following information with the goal of making a difficult time much easier for you and your family.

Our staff is always here to guide and assist you, so please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.  We are here to help you in any way we can.


·         Photos
–If possible bring a larger picture, we can reduce it if needed, but they are hard to blow up.
–Several are better than one.
–Used for newspaper, printing, hair dresser and as a guide for our work. Formal pictures, as well as
snapshots, are acceptable. If you bring several, we will help you choose the best one.

·         Life Insurance Policies
We do not charge a fee for assisting you with claims. Certain policies may be assigned to the funeral home directly, if you so wish.

·         Military Discharge Papers

·         Clothing for Men
Suit/Sport Coat & Slacks OR
Sweater, Shirt & Slacks OR
Long-sleeved Shirt & Slacks OR
Fraternal or Military Uniform
Dress Shirt & Tie
Underwear, T-shirt& Socks
Shoes are optional

·         Clothing for Women
Dress with long sleeves OR
Suit with long sleeves OR
Sweater, Blouse & Skirt/Slacks
Underwear & stockings/socks
Bra or Camisole
Slip for dress or skirt
Shoes are optional

·         Glasses, Jewelry and/or Rosary


We will help you coordinate and notify:

·         Minister and Church

·         Cemetery

·         Musicians – organist & singers

·         Military honors

·         Newspapers and radio stations

·         Fraternal & veterans organizations

·         Casket bearers

·         Honorary bearers

You will need to select:

·         Clothing

·         Time & place of service

·         Funeral merchandise

·         Flowers

·         Music

·         Funeral luncheon

You will need to notify:

·         All the relatives

·         All the friends

·         Bank

·         Employers

·         Insurance agent

·         Unions

Honoring Life’s Memories
This short phrase sums up our mission. We are committed to provide you with a funeral experience that honors the memory of your loved one’s life. What better way is there to share the person you knew and loved with others?

Take a moment to reflect on the questions below. They can help you organize your thoughts and allow you to plan a more personal and meaningful ceremony.

How did he Live?
Think of five words that describe him.
What traits did you admire most?
Did he ever give you any words of wisdom?

Whom did she Love?
What relationships were important to her?
Other than family, who will be affected by her death?
Who had the most influence on her life?

What made him Laugh?
What did he do for fun when he was younger?
In later years, how did he enjoy spending his free time?
What type of things gave him pleasure?

What things did she Learn?
What things interested her?
What accomplishments made her proudest?
Was she a member of any clubs or organizations?

What kind of Legacy did his life represent?
How would he want to be remembered?
What stories would he want passed on to future generations?
What five objects could you collect that capture what he was about?

What is an Obituary?

In the past, the obituary was used just as an announcement of a death – just the facts.

Today, they are increasingly used as an opportunity to reflect on a life well lived and how that life made a difference. This is extremely helpful to those unable to attend the services, as the obituary may be the only opportunity they have to reflect on the life of a relative, friend or colleague who has died.

Our funeral home will provide you with full assistance in composing the obituary.

However, for some, the process of writing an obituary is a special opportunity to say goodbye. It can be a wonderful tribute that gives us all a sense of who the person was and what they meant to those who knew and loved them. Though there are basic guidelines for writing an obituary, there are no hard and fast rules.

Basic Announcement Information

The lead paragraph of an obituary includes the name and address, including any past addresses where the person had community ties. The date and cause of death may also be included in this section at the discretion of the writer.

Scheduled Ceremonies

This section provides the time, date and location of any services being held, including the location of the final interment (cemetery or mausoleum). The obituary may also contain the locations involved with the scattering of ashes in case of a cremation.

Biographical Information & Life History

Next, if appropriate, some important facts about the person’s life may be included. Occupations, memberships, community service, education and military service are typical examples. This section could also contain information about hobbies and favorite activities.

Survivor Information

The list of surviving family members usually includes the names of spouses, parents, children and siblings along with their spouses and cities of residence. However, the names of grandchildren, other close relatives and special friends may also be included.


Some families provide the option of making charitable donations on behalf of the deceased in lieu of sending cards or flowers. In these situations, the address of the charity is necessary for contributors.


A Basic Obituary

Jonathon Q. Public, of Smithfield,Virginia, died January 14, 2001, at the age of 83.

A service of Christian burial will be held at 3 p.m. on April 11, 2000 at Solomon’s Temple church, Hampton, Virginia.

Born September 26, 1922 in Newport News, Va, he was the third son of the late Andrew J. Public and the late Phobe  Public (Abner). Jonathon lived most of his life in Newport News; he was an employee of Newport News Shipyard for 39 years. An active member of the local Lions club, Johnson served aboard submarines during World War II.

Mr. Public is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jackie (nee Carver); his son Bill; and his daughter Margie of Portsmouth, Mr. JPublic is also survived by five grandchildren: John, Betty, James, Turner and William.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks contributions be made to the America Cancer Society, 1800 W. Wight, Anywhere, Va 26666


We will obtain certified copies of the death certificate for you from the state health department. In Virginia the current charge is $13 for the first copy, $10 for each additional copy.

You may need a certified death certificate to make claims or make changes to the following:

·         Life Insurance Policies

·         Bank Accounts

·         Stocks and Bonds

·         Retirement Accounts – IRA, 401(K), Pension, Profit Sharing

·         Automobile Title

·         Real Estate Deeds and Titles

·         Telephone & Other Utilities

·         Credit Card Accounts


Our funeral home completes a form provided by the Social Security Administration which is usually
accepted as proof of death.

To contact the Social Security Administration:

Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213
from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays
to schedule an appointment. or

Local Suffolk, Va office
502 HillPoint Blvd
Suffolk, VA 23434

Inquire about eligibility for Survivors Benefits.


Our funeral home will assist you with the applications for a flag, a veteran’s grave marker and burial benefits.

Contact Veterans Affairs office to:
____ Apply for Widow’s pension
____ Check on Veterans’ life insurance

Veterans Administration

VA Life Insurance Info


Our funeral home provides insurance claim filing services FREE OF CHARGE.

_____ Contact all life insurance companies for
claim forms and file claims.

_____ Check for accidental death benefits on all
insurance policies.

_____ Check for life insurance benefits on loans
and credit cards.

_____ Check named beneficiaries on all of your
insurance policies and change if necessary.

_____ Check for group benefits with employer,
even if retired.

_____ Check with employers regarding changes
that may need to be made to your group
insurance policies.

_____ File claims for health insurance and/or
Medicare supplements.


_____ Contact labor union about death and
s benefits.

_____ Check with fraternal organizations about
available benefits.

_____ Contact American Legion, VFW and similar
veterans organizations about available


_____ For memorials given in memory of
deceased, forward all funds to appropriate

_____ Notify the bank, especially if Social Security
benefits are directly deposited.

_____ Notify deceased’s employer and inquire
about 401 (K), pension, profit sharing or
similar retirement benefits.

_____ Contact your attorney regarding probate of
the Estate.

_____ If estate is in trust, check with bank’s trust
department or your attorney.

_____ Have your attorney update your will or

_____ Update bank accounts, stocks and bonds
into your name.

_____ Get copies of all bills as soon as possible.

_____ Transfer or update automobile titles at
Department of Motor Vehicles.

We hope you will find this checklist helpful in settling your affairs.  Please consult legal counsel.


Call all parties before you visit their offices to see which documents they will need. If you give them original copies of documents, ask for a receipt if you need them returned to you.

·         Death Certificates

·         Social Security Number – yours and deceased’s

·         Military Discharge Papers

·         Insurance Policies

·         Real Estate Deeds and Titles

·         Stock and Bond certificates

·         Automobile title and registration

·         Loan papers, contracts, and account numbers

·         Bank and account numbers

·         Retirement account documents including IRA, 401(K), pension and profit sharing

·         Marriage Certificate or divorce papers

·         Birth Certificates – yours and minor children’s

·         Recent income tax returns and W-2 forms

·         Will and/or Trust papers


·         Surround yourself with loving and supportive people.

·         Take care of your body and spirit.

·         Know that you will eventually make this difficult transition.

·         Allow yourself to feel the pain, rather than avoid it.

·         Tears are a natural way to help you heal. It’s OK to cry.

·         Grief has no time table. Everyone is unique. Be patient with yourself.

·         Talk about your experience. Ask for help when you need it.

·         Laugh when you need to.

·         Be kind to yourself.

For more information and resources for dealing with grief
please click


Peace of Mind
Planning ahead relieves you of the worry that your family will be burdened with making complicated and difficult decisions while trying to cope with their grief and loss.

Together vs. Alone
By talking over your plans in advance, you have an opportunity to discuss a difficult subject openly with your loved one in a non-stressful environment and ensures that your wishes will be carried out just as you would have them – down to the last detail.

Safety & Inflation Protection
Pre-funding with insurance protects those funds so they will not count as your asset, if you enter a nursing home. They cannot be withdrawn for any reason prior to the funeral. When you pay for your funeral expenses in advance, your funds grow, reducing the impact of inflation.

Terms to Suit Any Budget
You can make a single payment or make payments over a period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years.

Should you relocate, or wish to change your funeral provider, your arrangements and funds will follow you.

Free, No Obligation Consultation
Our staff at Vaughan Funeral Home will guide you through the preplanning process. By planning ahead, you have time to make informed and thoughtful decisions.


Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows that the grieving process does not end with the funeral. IN FACT, grief can be most difficult after the funeral, when friends and relatives leave. At this point, you are left to carry on with your life.

We want to help you through this most difficult time by providing you with additional services that are available through the funeral home.