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There are a lot of questions when planning. If the answer to your question is now below, please reach out to our team. We are always here to answer any questions you may have.


What should I do if my loved one is expected to die very soon?

If your loved one is able to communicate, ask them their final wishes. They can choose to put someone in charge of carrying out their wishes by formally appointing an Authorized Agent. Reach out to Sparrow if you want more guidance. 

If the person is not able to communicate and you would like to plan ahead, reach out to Sparrow. A funeral director will get in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

What happens if someone dies in the middle of the night?

Call Sparrow. Simply call and we will arrange for your loved ones' retrieval. 

Sparrow is here to support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who has the right to plan the funeral?

Unless someone is appointed in writing as an Authorized Agent, per New York State law the responsibility of “right to disposition” happens in the following order: 

Spouse or Domestic Partner
Any child over 18 (no child has priority over other children)
Any parent (neither parent has priority over the other parent)
Any sibling over 18 (no sibling has priority over any other siblings)
An authorized guardian
Any grandchild
Any great grandchild
Any niece or nephew
(It is important to note that Power of Attorney ends upon death.)

Where will my loved one be once they are retrieved by Sparrow?

They will be brought back to our funeral home and placed in an appropriately refrigerated facility. If your tradition requires the body to be accompanied by a religious figure, prayer, or other recitation, please let Sparrow know and we will accommodate your wishes.

Can I have a funeral at home?

Yes. Sparrow is happy to help your family prepare and honor a body at home. Sparrow can help facilitate a home funeral, vigil or visitation for up to three days. If your loved one died in a hospital, nursing facility, or was brought to the medical examiner’s office, Sparrow can still arrange for the person to be brought home.

Can I plan my own funeral?

Yes, and Sparrow hopes you do! Nobody knows what you want better than you do.  

Sparrow encourages people of all ages and stages of life to consider planning, including those with a terminal illness.  

What is an Exit Party?

An Exit Party is an event that allows you to say goodbye BEFORE you die.  At Sparrow we have seen how powerful it can be for those with terminal illnesses to be able to celebrate their lives with friends and family before they die. The person being celebrated sees how much they are loved and friends and family are left with a beautiful memory of celebration.  Reach out to set up a time to speak with Sparrow about planning your Exit Party.

My loved one died in hospice at home. Should I call 911?

No. When someone dies in hospice it is not an emergency. Call the hospice nurse and let them know that they have died. Hospice will guide you through their next steps.  You can decide if you want to call the funeral home right away or spend some time at home with your loved one.  Sparrow is here to help you navigate the time leading up to and after death.

What is an autopsy and do I need one?

Autopsies are usually done if someone dies under suspicious circumstances, due to an accident or violent act, or without prior indications of illness or injury. Hospitals are prohibited from discouraging or persuading families to allow an autopsy to occur, so feel free to discuss the matter with the attending physician and other family members before making a decision. You may also reach out to Sparrow for guidance on this matter.

Should I call social security after my loved one dies?

Social Security will be alerted of the death once the funeral director files the death certificate. If you are concerned about it, you can call social security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-​800-325-0778). 

Who determines the cause of death?

Only the attending physician, hospice team, or medical examiner can determine the cause of death, not the funeral home.

How many death certificates do I need?

Sparrow suggests ordering one death certificate for every financial account the person held or shared. This includes banks, mortgages, trusts, credit cards, and insurance policies. Each entity may ask for an “official transcript” of the death certificate and most of them do not return them. In New York City, the cost of each official transcript is $15.

What is the capacity of your space?

Our Southern Room with skylights can hold 80-100 chairs

The Northern Room (green room) can accommodate 60-80 chairs and is often used for seated catering.




If there is anything not answered above, please reach out 212-920-5422