Where to Start

The loss of a loved one can leave you feeling adrift and confused. It’s difficult to know what to do, and when, when you’re experiencing grief. At that moment, funeral planning can seem like an impossible task. We have been guiding Massachusetts families through this process for 160 years, and we are here to help.

Below are some basic steps to take once your loved one passes. We understand how difficult this can be, and we are here to answer any questions you might have.

Within Hours

Your first step once death occurs is to call us. This will be a very sensitive time, and your grieving process should be your first priority. We will take care of everything, and no matter where you and your loved one are and what has happened, we will help.

Once you have contacted us, we will pick up your loved one and bring them into our care, where they will be treated with dignity and respect. Our experienced staff will help you obtain all necessary permits. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that no matter what, we are here for you and your family.

If you have not yet chosen a funeral home, we will advise you to call either the hospice or your loved one’s doctor. If your loved one has passed unexpectedly, call the police. Once you have spoken with emergency services, we will help you through the next steps.

Black and white photo of several men carrying a casket.

Within Days

The days following the death of your loved one will be spent informing close family and friends of your loved one’s death, and planning the funeral. This period can be very difficult. We recommend enlisting the help of close family or friends to help you. During this time, we can guide you through the funeral planning process, and help you obtain grief support.

If your loved one preplanned their funeral arrangements, contact the funeral home of their choice. If they did not preplan, you will now need to make important decisions regarding their funeral, such as:

  • Burial or cremation
  • If burial, what style of casket
  • If cremation, burial or scattering of ashes
  • The type of services, such as a viewing or wake, traditional service, graveside service, scattering ceremony, or other type of traditional or nontraditional service
  • If you’re planning a religious service, which clergy or spiritual leaders will need to be there

If you don’t know all the answers right now, that’s ok. We are here to help you through this process, and we can go over all your options in detail so you can make an informed and meaningful decision.

What to Expect When We Meet


Our goal is to make planning your loved one’s funeral services as easy as possible. We will walk you through every step along the way. At no point will you be going through this alone. We know that this can be a very difficult time, and no matter what questions you might have, we will offer guidance for you and your family.

We want you to be able to honor your loved one with a meaningful funeral service that brings comfort to you and your community. We will help you plan a personalized funeral service that reflects your loved one’s personality, passions, and the impact they made on you and your family and friends’ lives. We will also help you complete any required paperwork so that this process is as stress-free as possible.

When we meet, we will help you do the following:

  • Prepare and file all necessary certificates and permits
  • Draft an obituary
  • Schedule the funeral services and events
  • Select a casket, urn, or anything else you might need
  • Choose pallbearers
  • Arrange transportation to any of our conveniently located funeral homes, and then to the cemetery

The following documents and vital statistics will be needed for the required paperwork and obituary:

  • Your loved one’s date and place of birth
  • Their full legal name and address
  • Their social security number
  • Their father’s name, and mother’s maiden name
  • Their occupation, and highest education obtained
  • Their veteran’s discharge papers (DD214), if applicable
  • Information about their burial location, if applicable
  • The names and contact information for their clergy, if applicable
  • Insurance policy information, if using to pay for funeral expenses
  • The names and relationships of their survivors
  • A recent photograph of your loved one, and any clothing you want used when dressing them for the service


We Are Here For You


Chapman Funerals and Cremations is here to guide you every step of the way. We know this can be a difficult process, and we can answer any questions you might have. We are proud to serve the families of the Cape Cod area, including Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Falmouth, Harwich, Marstons Mills, Martha’s Vineyard, Mashpee, Wareham, West Falmouth, and Yarmouth, Massachusetts.


Funeral Services

Funeral and memorial services honor the individual and provide peace of mind for the people who love them.

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Cremation Services

Our cremation services provide unparalleled care at every step, and can be combined with the funeral or memorial services of your choice.

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Preplanning Services

Planning your funeral in advance can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family, relieving them of the burden when the time comes.

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