When Death Occurs

Arranging a funeral is a heavy responsibility. Who should you notify about the death? How soon can you arrange a cremation? What are the legal requirements in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana? Fortunately, Spring Grove Cremation Society 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 or work directly with our funeral director for arrangements.

Just seven steps to arrange a direct cremation

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

1. Call us at 513-853-6868 as soon as death is confirmed

When a death occurs, call Spring Grove Cremation Society 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 bring your loved one into our care, usually an hour or two after receiving your call.

The location of death and whether it was anticipated or not affects the initial step slightly:

  • Death in a health care facility

    If your loved one dies in a hospital, hospice or nursing home, instruct the staff to call us directly. They’ll make sure the authorities are notified, and they’ll provide us with the doctor’s information so that we can bring your loved one into our care.

  • 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 hospital, hospice or nursing home that was providing care. They will report the death officially, then contact us to bring your loved one into our care.

  • Unexpected death

    If death was not expected and did not occur in a health care facility, call 911 immediately. The local police will arrive, and they will then call the Coroner.

    If the death seems non-suspicious, the Coroner still has to decide whether an autopsy is required. If it is, the Coroner will take your loved one to the Coroner’s Office. Once the autopsy has been completed, the coroner will require the legal next of kin to sign a release. We will contact them to pick up your loved one. If an autopsy isn’t required, you can instruct the police to call us, and we’ll bring your loved one into our care.

    If the death seems suspicious, the Coroner is obliged to carry out an autopsy. State law says that the Coroner 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 Coroner’s legal duties.

  • Death occurs away from home

    If death takes place in a state other than Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana, call us at 513-853-6868. If you call a funeral director in the state 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 can ensure a trusted partner in that area is involved.

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 with or without Permanent Placement at Spring Grove Cemetery, 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 the Vital Statistics Worksheet

After the cremation plan has been finalized and paid for, the next step is to provide vital statistics information for your loved one. Click here to complete this information securely online. You can alternatively fill out and sign a Vital Statistics Worksheet, then return it to us within two days 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 48 hours to complete the certificate and return it to us, although sometimes this process can take several days and is outside of our control.

4. Complete visual identification of your loved one

Ohio law requires the deceased to be identified before cremation takes place. This identification is part of the cremation authorization process. You may do this by electronic means (photograph) or by scheduling an appointment to come and do the identification in person.

As the legal next-of-kin, you may do the identification yourself or assign it to someone else, but this person must accompany you during your appointment.

5. Complete the Authorization for Cremation & Disposition Form

Fill out and sign a Cremation & Disposition Authorization Form. Please call us for assistance. This form legally authorizes us to perform the cremation. You must have a witness sign or the form may be notarized. Email the completed form to us.

Once we have the completed Vital Statistics form, the identification of your loved one and the Authorization for Cremation and Disposition form, we will request the death certificate and, upon receipt, carry out the cremation. The cremation generally happens within 3 to 5 business days of these steps being completed.

6. Write and publish an obituary

The state 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 these tips at ObituaryGuide.com. If you would like to know which local newspapers publish obituaries, please ask us for a list. If you would like us to submit an obituary to any local newspaper, we can do that for an additional charge.

7. Collect the ashes from Spring Grove Cemetery

After the cremation process, we place the ashes in an urn and take them to Spring Grove Cemetery for collection. You will be notified as soon as they are ready for you to pick up. If you have requested a permanent placement at Spring Grove Cemetery, we will help with the arrangements. Inurnment or scattering can take place at a time that suits you and your family.

If you have any questions about what to do when a death occurs in your family, please call us at 513-853-6868. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



We will provide you with the most trusted, convenient and cost-effective cremation package in the greater Cincinnati area.


We will ensure all your basic cremation arrangements can be made from the privacy of your own home using an online process that is simple and quick.


We will give you and your family excellent and caring service by employing professionals who are experienced and competent.


We will care for your loved one at all times, ensuring dignity and respect throughout the entire cremation process.


We will act always in good faith, and we will abide by the laws of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and by federal laws.


We will keep your loved one’s records safe and secure, and file all legal paperwork correctly and on time.

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