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First, please let us express our deepest sympathy for your loss. If you'd rather just skip ahead and call us immediately for instructions, feel free to call right away.

Where to start

Below, we have included several sets of instructions to help you navigate the steps ahead.  There are a few very important things that must be done immediately to ensure a smooth process of transition. 


As always, we're here for you every step of the way. When you call us at 609-695-1868, you will reach the funeral director or staff member and not a call center. 


Memorial Services

For closure, a memorial service offers mourners a chance to come together in remembrance of the recently deceased.
Many who are grieving find comfort through a gathering in a supportive environment where they can begin to find closure, say goodbye, and begin to come to terms with what has happened.


A memorial is a time to connect, share memories, support, and honor a loved one as a community of friends and family.

No matter the setting, style, or direction you choose, Buklad-Merlino is honored to assist you in creating a service that reflects your loved one's unique life journey.

Burial Services

Traditionally, a burial service involves a visitation and is followed by a funeral service.  There are several types of interment. Deciding which is the best fit for your loved one and you requires a few decisions. We have listed some options below for you to consider.

The first things to decide are,

  • whether embalming is desired or not

  • whether cremation is desired or not

  • what kind of casket or urn to use.

  • whether to have an open or closed casket.

  • what cemetery to use

  • what kind of grave marker to use, and what the inscription should say.


Below are some resources to help you make your decision.

Monumental cemetery

A monumental cemetery is the most traditional style of burial ground, where headstones and other monuments made of marble and granite rise vertically above the ground.  There are countless different types of designs for headstones, ranging from small and simple, to large and complex.

Lawn cemetery

A lawn cemetery is where each grave is marked with a small commemorative plaque that is placed horizontally at the head of the grave, at ground-level.  Families can still be involved in the design and in choosing the information contained on the plaque, but in most cases, the plaques are a standard design. 


A mausoleum is an external, free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people.  


Columbarium walls are generally reserved for cremated remains.  While cremated remains can be kept at home by families, or scattered somewhere significant to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a place to come to visit. Columbarium walls do not take up a lot of space and they serve as an affordable alternative to a burial plot.

Natural cemeteries

Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries, are a new style of cemetery set aside for natural burials.  Natural burials are motivated by the desire to be environmentally conscious.  While natural burials can be performed at any type of cemetery, they are usually done in a natural woodland area. Conventional markings, such as headstones, are generally replaced with a tree, bush, or the placement of a natural stone.

Cremation Services

Cremation is an increasingly popular option for many people, serving as an alternative to burial. Reasons for preferring cremation vary. Some religions request it, while other people consider it more environmentally conscious. Some may simply prefer the idea of cremation. During cremation, the remains are placed in a special furnace and reduced to resemble coarse sand.  Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burials or other forms of disposition.




Accessibility is not just about the accommodations we make for family and guests when attending a service in person. We can arrange for live streaming of services so that loved ones can pay their respects and be with you virtually, even if they are unable to attend in person.

When death occurs


Everyone experiences grief in ways unique to them. Even following a long illness when death is expected, grief can be overwhelming. We are never prepared for death even if we have made preparations in advance.


For some, grief comes in waves or on a delay. Please do your best not to judge yourself or your bereavement and allow yourself to mourn in your own way. Be patient and be kind to yourself. Ask for support when you need it.

If you were present during the final moments of a loved one’s life, you and they shared in their passage. You will have supported your loved one through their final transition, which is a kind and loving act of compassion and devotion. Your service to them will be with you always, and in time, many people come to treasure those last moments that they had.

When completing the steps below, be sure to take notes, and be careful to keep them in an easily accessible, memorable place where they are at the ready when you need them for reference.

If the death occurred at home or a place of business

  • The police will have to be notified immediately.  

  • The police will be dispatched to the home and will place the call to the coroner or medical examiner.  

  • From there, the coroner or medical examiner will remove the deceased person and determine whether further action is necessary.  

  • The coroner or medical examiner must release the deceased person to the funeral home.  

  • If the death occurred at home, don't forget to call the employer.

    • Ask about the deceased's benefits and any pay, which is owed to them, including vacation or sick time.

    • Ask if you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company.

    • Ask whether there is a life insurance policy through the employer, who the beneficiary is, and how to file a claim.


If the person was under hospice care at home:
  • Contact the hospice representative.

  • They will help notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.

If the death occurred at a hospital, nursing home, or hospice facility

  • The staff will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred.  

  • If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of passing.  

  • If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased's wishes and set up a time to make arrangements. If you are not present, a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements.

Contact the funeral director

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to Buklad-Merlino, your licensed funeral director.  We're here for you any time of day or night at 609-695-1868. Funeral directors will help you obtain a death certificate, transport the deceased, and, in the event pre-planning was not done,  make all of the necessary arrangements including selecting a casket or urn and arranging the funeral or memorial service. The funeral director will also help you notify the employer and insurance company of the deceased.  Buklad-Merlino's funeral directors are there to help you through the entire process.

Buklad-Merlino will help you:
  • Transport the deceased

  • Obtain a death certificate

  • Select a casket, urn, and/or grave marker

  • Arrange the funeral, memorial, and/or burial service

  • Prepare and publish the obituary

  • Call the life insurance company

  • Help notify the deceased's employer, attorney, insurance company, and banks

  • Offer grief support

  • Direct you to other resources

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