When Death Occurs

Arranging a cremation is a heavy responsibility. Who should you notify about the death? How soon can you arrange a cremation? What are the legal requirements in Texas? Fortunately, CremationTribute.com can shoulder much of that burden for you.

Our caring team is available day and night to take your call and guide you through your next steps. Once you’ve informed us of your loved one’s death, you can go to our online service to arrange the cremation. You won’t have to make any appointments with us.

Here are the six steps to take when a loved one dies:

1. Call us at 844-677-7032 as soon as death is confirmed

When a death occurs, call CremationTribute.com as soon as possible. We’ll ask a few simple questions about who has died and where the death took place. We’ll also need to know the name of the next-of-kin and of the doctor who confirmed death. We can then send our team to pick up your loved one, usually an hour or two after receiving your call.

Depending on the circumstance of death, you may have to call other officials as well:

  • Death in a health care facility

    Call us directly if your loved one dies in a hospital, hospice or nursing home. The medical staff will make sure the authorities are notified, and we’ll collect your loved one from the health care facility.

  • Anticipated death at home

    If death is expected very soon, many people prefer to leave their health care facility and return home. When death does take place, you must first call the staff at the health care facility that was providing treatment. They will report the death officially, then contact us to collect your loved one.

  • Unexpected death

    If death was not expected and did not occur in a health care facility, call 911 straightaway. The local police will arrive and then call the Medical Examiner (ME). If the death seems non-suspicious, the ME must decide whether an autopsy is required. If it is, the ME will take the body back to the mortuary. If it isn’t, you can call us immediately and we will collect the body.

    If the death seems suspicious, however, the ME is obliged to carry out an autopsy. Once the autopsy is done, the ME will contact us to collect the body from the mortuary. Texas Law states that the ME doesn’t need the family’s permission to carry out an autopsy, although their wishes will be considered as long as they don’t conflict with the ME’s legal duties. 

  • Death occurs away from home

    If death takes place in the USA but more than 100 miles away from home, call us at 844-677-7032. If you call a local funeral director where the death took place, you will end up paying for their services and ours, and that’s an unnecessary cost. If death takes place in another country, it is still a good idea to call us. We can offer guidance, and if your loved one has our Death Away From Home Plan, we ensure the body is transported back to Texas at no extra cost.

2. Order and pay for the cremation using our online service

Your next step is to arrange the cremation. Our online service makes this very easy. Just select our Direct Cremation inside or outside the service area, enter your contact information and credit card details (we accept all major credit cards), and hit ‘Submit’.
As soon as you have ordered the cremation, we’ll email you confirmation and instructions regarding the legal forms you need to complete.

3. Complete online or download and return the Vital Statistics Worksheet

Once you have arranged and paid for the cremation, the next step is to obtain vital statistics information for your loved one. Click here to complete this information securely online. Alternatively you can download the Vital Statistics Form, then return it to us within 48 hours of your loved one coming into our care. This form lets us file for the death certificate. We can’t proceed with the cremation until we have received the death certificate signed by a medical professional.

The medical professional has 5 days by law to complete the certificate and return it to us. Please note that there are circumstances that will delay the death certificate process but our friending staff will keep you informed as to the status.

4. Complete and return the Cremation Authorization Form

Fill out and sign a Cremation Authorization Form. This form legally authorizes us to perform the cremation. You must also send a copy of a state ID or driver’s license of the legal-next-of-kin. Return the form to us within 48 hours of your loved one coming into our care.

Reminder: If we don’t receive the Vital Statistics Form and the Cremation Authorization Form within 2 business days of transferring your loved one into our care, there will be additional sheltering fees.

Once we have the completed forms, we will request the death certificate and burial transit permit. Upon receipt, we will carry out the cremation. The cremation generally happens within 7 days of collecting the body.

5. Write and publish an obituary

Texas does not require you to publish an obituary in a newspaper. However, many families like to publish an obituary to make sure everyone is informed of their loved one’s passing. Writing an obituary can be a very difficult thing to do, so you may want to check out the How to Write an Obituary under the Important Forms tab. If you would to know which local newspapers publish obituaries, please ask us for a list.

6. Receive the ashes from many of our locations throughout the state

After the cremation process, we place the ashes in an urn and take them to one of our locations in your area for retrieval. You will be notified as soon as they are ready to be released.

If you have any questions about what to do when a death occurs in your family, please call us at 844-677-7032. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Whenever you need us for advice or support, just pick up the phone. We’re available day and night, every day of the year. Your concerns come first with us, and we’ll always try to anticipate your needs.


Be assured we will treat your loved one with dignity at all times, from the moment we arrive at the place of death to the moment we return the ashes to you.


Grief and confusion are common emotions at this time, so expect us to take the time to explain the whole process to you and your family and to offer gentle guidance.


You won’t be surprised by hidden costs and you won’t be overcharged. Our basic package price really does include everything you need to carry out a simple cremation.


Your loved one will be attended to and positively identified throughout the entire process by our own certified crematory technicians. We guarantee the ashes you receive are those of your loved one.


Each member of our team is fully trained and required to work the high standards set out in our code of ethics and our procedure’s manual. They understand the need for attention to detail at every stage of the cremation.


All information about your loved one will be kept secure and disclosed only if required by law. Your loved one’s records will be filed on time, kept in a secure location, and made available to the authorities to ensure that we comply with the law.