Yes, a decedent can be moved to a funeral home even if a family member is not in town.  Here is the criteria:

  • If the patient is under any HOSPICE CARE, and if a Hospice is not at the residence at the time of death, then the first people to call is Hospice and they will come out to pronounce the death and notify the funeral home the family have chosen. The funeral home will then transport the decedent to the respective facility,
  • If the patient is NOT under Hospice Care, then the authorities must be called to assure that there is no foul play or the death is not from an accident. The authorities called  are generally 911 and they notify TIPS. The authorities make contact with the medical examiner who determines if the decedent can be transported to the funeral home of the family’s choice or if they need to transport to their facility for further investigation.

In any circumstance, it would be prudent for the family to have a mortuary of their choice in advance.  They do not have to pay in advance. However, please choose one of the funeral homes on the SDMS List and provide that name to the care givers.  Our membership cards have a place to designate the funeral home you have chosen. When this is kept in the wallet, confusion can be eliminated.

NOTE:  Failure of the family providing a name of a funeral home will most likely result in the decedent being transported to a NON-SDMS funeral home resulting in additional costs anywhere from  $295 to $895 by the funeral home that made the original transfer.