Where to Begin

Where to Begin

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming, but you are not alone in this. We’re here to support you throughout this journey and make this process one of love, healing, and life celebration. Below is some information to help you get started, but you can contact us at any time if you need help.

What to Do When a Death Occurs:

When a death occurs in your family, you may be unsure of what to do first. If you have not selected a funeral home then River View Cemetery Funeral Home is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call us at (503)246-6488.

We will walk you through all the steps that need to be taken and all the decisions that need to be made in the hours and days following a death. We are available to talk with you anytime to answer questions, provide clarification, or help in any way we can.

Are you looking for cemetery services? River View Cemetery is available to assist you - contact us.


Following are all or some of the steps that you will take:

  1. Call River View Cemetery Funeral Home at (503)246-6488.
  2. River View Cemetery Funeral Home will bring the decedent into our care and take them to our mortuary.
  3. Our funeral directors will contact you and ask about making funeral and celebratory arrangements.

Your first Call To River View

We will discuss your situation and ask some preliminary questions:

  1. What is the full name of the deceased?
  2. What is the location of the deceased (hospital, nursing facility, or residence)?
  3. What is your name, address, and phone number?
  4. Is there a pre-arranged funeral plan and cemetery? (If yes, what is the plan name or number?)
  5. What is your relationship to the deceased?

The Next Day or So

We will schedule an appointment to meet with you at our historic offices to begin discussing details.

Vital Information

The state requires specific information to apply for a burial permit and death certificate to ensure accuracy and completeness bring the following to your appointment.

  • any insurance policy or pre-need arrangement contract
  • marital status of the deceased
  • social security number of the deceased
  • veteran's discharge papers or claim number
  • the deceased's birth date, city, and state of birth
  • a photograph of the deceased
  • the deceased's parents' names, including mother's maiden name
  • next of kin: names, phone numbers, addresses
  • information about the deceased's education
  • cemetery lot information (if applicable)
  • celebrant or clergy

Funeral and Celebratory Arrangements

At this meeting, we will help you plan funeral and celebratory services.

Arranging a Funeral Service

We can help you create a beautiful funeral and celebratory service that is right for you and your family.

Here are some of the services we offer and choices we will make together:

  • Time and place:Decide when and where services will be held.
  • Pallbearers:Assist with the selection of honorary and active pallbearers.
  • Transportation:Arrange transportation for you and the members of your family to, during, and after the funeral.
  • Obituary:We will guide you through the process of gathering information necessary for an Obituary, help write it, and place it with the newspaper and social media.
  • Celebrant or clergy:Coordinate funeral and celebration plans with you and your family's master of ceremonies, whether it is your clergy, monk or our certified celebration.
  • Flowers:Determine what types of flower arrangements you'd like for the ceremony.
  • Cemetery:Make arrangements for cemetery space, grave opening and closing, and monument.
  • Services:Direction and coordination of the funeral or memorial service.

Other services we can provide or arrange include:

  • Merchandise and Preparation:Assist with selection of merchandise and services necessary for your funeral, cemetery and celebratory events.
  • Permits:Secure necessary permits and death certificates.
  • Care and Custody:Oversee care and custody of the body.
  • Transportation of the Decedent:Transportation of the decedent to the mortuary, memorial services, cemetery; or shipping to another location including air arrangements.
  • Food planning:If you want to hold a reception and haven’t chosen a place or have other activities at your home, we can provide you with planning food and beverage.

Financial and Legal Matters

Addressing financial and legal matters
Here are some important matters your need to resolve about the deceased's finances. These are personal and family tasks that unfortunately we are not able to fulfill on your behalf. If you need legal assistance, we can provide you with referrals.

You will need to:

  • Bank:notify the appropriate bank of the death if Social Security checks are deposited automatically.
  • Will:locate the will and notify the lawyer and executor.
  • Insurance:notify insurance companies of the death and review all related policies, such as life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check on possible income for survivors from these sources.
  • Debts:check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. Consult with creditors as needed.
  • Utilities:notify utility companies and landlord and tell the post office where to forward mail.


River View Cemetery
Phone: (503) 246-4251


300 South Taylors Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97219
(Physical Address)

8421 South Macadam Avenue, Portland, OR 97219
(Mailing Address)

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