If you are feeling in a panic the first step is to STOP and take a breath. If the person is already dead then there is time to sort things out and get your questions answered. Do not feel rushed or pressured.
After taking a breath or two, start calling these people until you get someone on the phone to offer some guidance as to your next steps.
All the people listed below feel honored to be helping families with home funerals so don’t hesitate to call even if it is in the middle of the night. We know the laws, and who to call to help families with do-it-yourself funerals.
Central Texas – Austin area
- Sandy Booth 512-626-1339 cell
- Nancy Walker, Funeral Consumer Alliance Central Texas, 512-480-0555
- Ellen Macdonald 512-796-5240
North Texas – Dallas/FW area
- Jim Bates, Funeral Consumer Alliance North Texas, 817-360-4727
How to get the body released from a hospital or nursing home
This is a common question we get asked, and in the midst of dealing with officials it can be hard to stay composed. Here is a script we suggest to use in dealing with medical care institutions:
The key in Texas is to use the phrase acting as such. Say to medical officials you was dealing with, “Yes, of course. I understand that is your policy to only release the body to a funeral home. Yes, release the body to a funeral director. And Texas law allows the next of kin to act as funeral director, so I’ll be acting as such.”
Then give them the reference sheet to the law that states that the next of kin can act as a funeral director.
Please refer to the National Home Funeral Alliance’s document, “What to Do When Families’ Home Funeral Rights are Challenged.” This document has information about each individual state.