Where to Begin

Where to Begin

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming, but you are not alone in this. We’re here to support you throughout this journey and make this process one of love, healing, and life celebration. Below is some information to help you get started, but you can contact us at any time if you need help.

Within Hours

When a loved one dies at home or in a place that isn’t a healthcare facility, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel before they can be taken into our care. 

If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility, they will notify the proper authorities, including the funeral home you have chosen to care for your loved one if they know that information.

Finally, contact the funeral home. The funeral director is the licensed professional that will secure all necessary legal documents, i.e. death certificates, burial or cremation permits, and transportation of your loved one. We are available 24 hours, seven days a week.

This part of the process is often the most emotional, and we are here to help and support you. If you’re not sure what to do, call us any time.

Within the First Few Days

Most important that you call and set an appointment with the funeral home. The funeral director will walk you through all the necessary steps, documents, and scheduling.

Together we will review any of your loved one’s preplanned funeral wishes and begin planning their service. If your loved one did not preplan their funeral, you might want to start thinking about a few of the big choices you will need to make, such as:

  • Burial or cremation
  • If burial, the type of casket, graveliner or vault
  • If burial, the location of their final resting place
  • If cremation, viewing/services then cremation or cremation then services
  • If cremation, the location of their final resting place
  • Any religious services you will need, such as clergy or spiritual leaders
  • The types of services you want, such as a viewing, service, graveside memorial, etc.


It's important to understand if a casket is needed for the type of service you have selected that you talk with your funeral director. Our caskets are manufactured in the United States and are delivered next day to the funeral home from a local supplier. Caskets are not a "one size fits all" and we take great care that the appropriate casket is selected for your loved one. Cemeteries and retail stores are not aware of these parameters and delivery of on line purchases can take up to 3 days. You or the funeral home has no recourse should there be damage or the size is not correct.

These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. We will work with you and explain all your options. We're here to make this process easier for you.

What to Expect When We Meet

When you meet with a member of our staff to discuss your arrangements, we'll first provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of the cost of our services.

We'll then ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the services will honor. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one's life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. We will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one's life.

This process includes:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate and permits
  • Scheduling the services (including the location, date, and time)
  • Contact cemetery and clergy
  • Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
  • Drafting an obituary
  • Arranging necessary transportation


We'd like to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can, so remember to bring the following information about your loved one with you as well:

  • Full legal name and home address
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
  • Highest education
  • Occupation
  • Information about the burial location if applicable
  • Clergy name and phone number if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors
  • Insurance policy information if using to pay for funeral expenses


Please also bring a recent photograph and any clothing you'd like us to use when dressing your loved one.


Coats Waterford | (248) 674-0461
3141 Sashabaw Road, Waterford, MI 48329

Coats Clarkston | (248) 620-4142
8909 Dixie Highway, Clarkston, MI 48348


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