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What to Do When Someone Dies in Hawaii

What to Do When Someone Dies in Hawaii

Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience, and dealing with the practical matters that follow can be overwhelming. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to navigate the process of handling a loved one’s death in Hawaii, this article aims to provide you with a step-by-step guide on what to do during this challenging time. Additionally, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help address some common concerns.

Step 1: Notify Authorities and Obtain a Death Certificate
The first step after a death occurs is to inform the appropriate authorities. If the passing happens at home, you should contact the local police or 911 immediately. If the person was under hospice care, you should contact the hospice provider. Once the authorities have been notified, they will guide you through the next steps and provide you with a death certificate. This document is crucial for many legal matters that follow.

Step 2: Contact a Funeral Home
Reach out to a funeral home of your choice as soon as possible. Funeral directors are experienced professionals who can guide you through the entire process. They will help you make arrangements for the body, including embalming, cremation, or burial. They can also assist you in planning memorial services or funerals according to your preferences and cultural or religious customs.

Step 3: Notify Family and Friends
Inform family members, close friends, and other relevant individuals about the death. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or social media. Sharing the news with loved ones will help ensure that everyone is aware of the situation and can provide support during this difficult time.

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Step 4: Settle Legal and Financial Matters
It is imperative to address legal and financial matters promptly. Some important steps include:

a. Contact the deceased person’s attorney, if they had one, to initiate the probate process.

b. Notify the deceased person’s employer, if applicable, and inquire about any employee benefits or life insurance policies.

c. Gather and organize all relevant documents such as wills, insurance policies, bank statements, and property deeds.

d. Contact the deceased person’s banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions to inform them of the death.

Step 5: Notify Government Agencies and Cancel Services
Notify government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and the Department of Motor Vehicles about the death. Cancel or transfer services such as utility bills, phone contracts, and subscriptions in the deceased person’s name.


Q: How long does it take to obtain a death certificate in Hawaii?
A: It typically takes about one to two weeks to receive a death certificate in Hawaii.

Q: Can I transport the body out of Hawaii for burial?
A: Yes, you can transport the body out of Hawaii for burial. However, it is essential to coordinate with the funeral home to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Q: Can I scatter ashes in Hawaii?
A: Hawaii law permits scattering ashes at sea as long as certain guidelines are followed. It is advisable to contact the Department of Land and Natural Resources for specific regulations.

Q: Are there any financial assistance programs available for funeral expenses in Hawaii?
A: The State of Hawaii offers financial assistance through the Burial Assistance Program. Eligibility criteria apply, and interested individuals should contact the Department of Human Services for more information.

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Q: What options are available for funeral services in Hawaii?
A: Hawaii offers a wide range of funeral services, including traditional burials, cremation, and eco-friendly alternatives. Funeral homes can help you explore the available options and choose what best suits your needs.

In conclusion, dealing with the death of a loved one is undoubtedly a challenging and emotional process. However, by following the steps outlined above and seeking guidance from professionals, you can navigate through this difficult time more smoothly. Remember to reach out to friends, family, and support groups for emotional support, as they can provide comfort during this period of grief.

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