Funeral Planning Checklist

Funeral Planning Checklist

The death of a loved one is always a difficult time, compounded by the desire to plan a funeral that represents our love for the individual and properly celebrates their life. From choosing affordable burial caskets to planning the service, there are many things about the funeral planning of which we may not be aware and many practical decisions that will need to be made. Even though the occasion may be somber, you are also still a consumer and wise planning can assure that the funeral is a fitting celebration of your loved one’s life.

After A Death

  • If a death occurs in your home it will be necessary to notify the proper parties. In some cases, it may be necessary to call the coroner. In most instances, however, you will just need to notify the proper authority in order to transport your loved one to the funeral home. Calling 911 will engage the proper people to care for your loved one. If the death was expected, it may be a call to the funeral home or mortuary.
  • Notify insurance companies
  • Enlist the help of others. Many people will want to be able to show that they care in practical ways. By letting them handle some of the calls, it will lighten your load and give you more time to devote to the many needs.

Immediate Decisions

  • Cremation or burial.
  • Embalming or not. Embalming may incur more cost, but not embalming will necessitate the burial taking place sooner.
  • Funeral casket choices. There are many choices in caskets and casket adornments. Styles, as well as the material from which they are constructed, will all be a consideration. It is important to note that while a funeral home may have a selection of caskets for sale, it is your right to order one directly from the company, saving on markup. It is possible to purchase caskets online and have them shipped to the funeral home.
  • Choose and purchase a burial plot, if it has not been done previously.
  • Decide where services will be held.

Secondary Decisions and Preparations

  • Assure that the proper people have all important documents and information.
  • Choose any special burial clothes or jewelry.
  • Arrange for visitation.
  • Order any special flower arrangements.
  • Decide if the funeral will be an open or closed casket.
  • Choose memorial cards and make proper information available.
  • Choose those who will deliver eulogies or special messages.
  • Choose casket pallbearers.
  • Choose special music, photos or other props that will be used.
  • Make funeral director aware of any special seating arrangements.
  • Choose and order a grave marker. Grave markers are usually placed several weeks after the burial.

Things that can be Delegated

  • Making calls to family, friends or coworkers.
  • Answer incoming calls.
  • Arranging food for guests.
  • Arrange food for any after services meal.
  • Arranging pick up and accommodations of out of town family.
  • Receive guests and offer appreciation on behalf of the family.
  • Arrange graveside transportation.
  • Assure that obituary is placed and proper information is provided.

Though the decisions surrounding a death may be difficult, by keeping a checklist and delegating when possible, you can assure that the day is special and befitting of your loved one.

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