Where to Begin

Where to Begin

Planning a cremation 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 celebrating a life well lived. 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 was under medical care, it’s a good idea to call their physician as well.

If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility, they will notify the proper authorities, including the funeral facility you have chosen, provided you have given that information to them at an earlier date.

If there is no doctor, homecare RN or hospice nurse present, then emergency responders will pronounce the death and provide us with the proper date and time for the death certificate. In this instance, the funeral home staff will take care of obtaining a doctor’s signature and then filing the necessary documents.

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

You’ll want to notify close friends and relatives, both through personal phone calls and texts. You can begin compiling information about your loved one for their obituary. If this process is too painful for you, it’s absolutely okay to ask a trusted family member or friend to help you gather your thoughts.

This also is the time to review any of your loved one’s preplanned cremation wishes and speak with the funeral home about your intentions. Find a photo that can be used for the obituary (optional) and for identification purposes. If your loved one did not plan in advance, or you have some ideas of your own, you might want to start thinking about a few of the big choices you will need to make, such as:

  • The location of their final resting place, whether you decide to keep them within your home, spread them in a cherished location, or inter them in a garden, statue, or other memorial property.
  • Any religious services you might like (optional). Provide a name of a clergy or spiritual leader, or parish affiliation you would like to use.
  • Any types of services you may want, such as a viewing, a graveside or memorial church service, funeral home service, etc.
  • The type of urn (optional)


These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. Don’t hesitate to contact us to gain a better understanding of your options. We're here to make this process easier for you.

What to Expect When We Meet

When you speak or meet with a member of our staff to discuss your arrangements, we'll first provide you with, or email you a copy of our general price list to give you a basic idea of what services are available and their costs.

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 highlights of their accomplishments. Our professionals will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful service for both you and your family. If your choice is to keep it private, we can simply handle the cremation for you and you can decide if you require something more in the future.

This process may include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate. We will need to know how many certified copies of this document you may need. Ask our director for the various things that require a certified copy, to help you decide on a number.
  • Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
  • Selecting an urn (optional), or other products you may need/want.
  • Choosing an interment option for the cremation urn, such as cremation niches within a local mausoleum, area cremation gardens, or cemetery plots. Ashes can be buried in a full grave that was originally meant for a casket and vault, or they can go on top of an already used grave of a family member. You can also keep or scatter them.
  • Drafting an obituary – provide photo if desired.


We'd like to make this process as smooth and stress-free as we can, so please gather the following information about your loved one that can be used for all the forms we have to fill out and if you decide on publishing an obituary:

  • 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 grade of education completed
  • Occupation – last one or the one they worked the majority of their lives.
  • Information about the burial or interment, location if applicable and owner of the lot.
  • Clergy name and phone number if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors and the towns and state they currently reside in.


Please also bring clothing (optional), any personal items you want with them for the cremation and once again, a recent photograph for identification.

Shoreline Cremation
Phone: (888) 429-5484
P. O. Box 2477, Branford, CT 06512

Start Online Arragements Here

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