Where to Begin

Where to Begin

This part of the process is often emotional, and we are here to help and support you. If you are unsure what to do at any time, please call us at 301-593-9500.

Within Hours

We will work with your family to select a day and time within the next day or so for the funeral arrangement conference.

When a loved one dies at home or in a place that is not a healthcare facility, you will need to contact emergency personnel before we are authorized to take them into our care. If your loved one was under medical care, it is a good idea to call their physician. The responding emergency personnel, and then later the funeral home, will also require the doctors contact information.

If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility (such as a nursing home or hospice facility), they may notify us at Collins Funeral Home if we are known to them to be your funeral home of choice. Please note, however, that we still require to speak with a family member before bringing your loved on into our care.

Within the First Day or Two

Soon after your loved one’s death, and the plan for services develop, you will want to notify close friends and relatives, mostly through personal phone calls. If this part of the process is overwhelming for you, it is absolutely okay to ask a trusted family member or friend to help.

You will meet here at Collins Funeral Home with one of our highly skilled funeral directors who will walk you through the arrangement conference and to begin planning their services you require. This is the time to review any of your loved one’s preplanned funeral wishes, or if there are no preplanned arrangements you will want to start thinking about a few of the big choices, such as:

  • Burial or cremation
  • If burial, the location of their final resting place in a grave or mausoleum
  • If cremation, the final resting place for their cremated remains
  • The kinds of services you need, such as:
    • a viewing or visitation, at Collins or at a place of worship
    • a funeral service at Collins or at a place of worship
    • whether to have a reception following services


These questions are just a starting point and you do not need to know the answers right away. Please feel free to contact us to gain a better understanding of your options. We are here to make this process easier for you.

What to Expect from the Arrangement Conference

When you meet with one of our funeral directors to discuss arrangements, we will provide you a copy of our general price list to disclose our pricing for services in compliance with federal law.

We'll then ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the services will honor. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one's life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. Our professionals will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one's life.

This process may include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
  • Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
  • Drafting an obituary
  • Arranging necessary transportation
  • Selecting pallbearers


We like to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can, so remember to bring the following information about your loved one with you:

  • Full legal name and home address
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
  • Highest education
  • Occupation
  • Information about the burial location if applicable
  • Clergy name and phone number if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors
  • Insurance policy information if using to pay for funeral expenses


If it is more convenient, you may begin to provide the above information using our online planning form.

Please also bring a recent photograph of your loved one and the clothing you wish us to use when dressing them for services. For clothing, keep in mind that this should have a high neckline, long sleeves, and be solid (not see through) material.

Parking Announcement:
We are pleased to offer our families and visitors complimentary valet parking.
Please take advantage of this free amenity and refrain from parking in the surrounding neighborhood streets.

Francis J. Collins Funeral Home, Inc.
Phone: (301) 593-9500 | Fax: (301) 593-6551
500 University Blvd. West, Silver Spring, MD 20901

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