How to Prepare for a Funeral

Preparing for funeral arrangements can be a very difficult task. Preparing for a funeral requires making countless decisions in a time when you are likely working on very little sleep, feel grief-stricken, emotionally exhausted, and overwhelmed.
Planning a funeral that beautifully honors your loved one is, of course, top priority; but you also want to feel confident that you are making wise decisions in the many details of the funeral planning process.

Preparing for a Funeral: Enlist the Help of Family and Friends
There will be many people silently wondering what they can do to help with the funeral planning. Trying to figure out what someone can do to help plan funeral arrangements may seem like a huge task, but it’s not as big as trying to do it all alone.
When preparing for a funeral, make a list of things that you know need to be done, but can be delegated to others, such as:

  • Arrange for the pick-up of out of town guests,
  • Arrange for the accommodations of guests,
  • Compile a funeral planning checklist,
  • Take phone calls,
  • Make arrangements for food,
  • Coordinate funeral flowers from guests, friends and relatives,
  • Make phone inquiries to confirm the details of arrangements,
  • Keep others informed of the plans,
  • Confirm availability of church or other locations and present options for services

Gather Your Documents
It is important to have all of your important documents together as they will be needed several times over. Birth and death certificates, social security number, and deed to cemetery plot if it has already been purchased will all be needed.

Meeting with the Funeral Home
Many of the details of preparing for a funeral will be handled by the funeral home. Be sure to keep these in mind:

  • Will the body be buried or cremated?
  • Does the state require necessary equipment? If so, what are the costs?
  • Is an outer internment receptacle required?

Knowing your options can allow you to allocate available funds properly to assure the most fitting funeral possible.

When Planning a Funeral, You are a Consumer
One of the most important things to remember when preparing for a funeral is that you are a consumer. Even though it is an unimaginably sad and difficult occasion, remember, you are a consumer and funeral homes are also conducting business. The prices on various services and products will vary. You have the right to know the prices up front and you should compare prices between the funeral homes you may be considering.

Read Before You Sign
Be certain to understand the terms of your agreement before you sign any agreements. Since preparing for a funeral is not a frequent occurrence, there are many things which may be unfamiliar and it is easy to make assumptions about what is included. Ask the funeral home for an itemized price list of goods and services. Research each term with which you are unfamiliar and do a little research until you feel comfortable in making a decision.
Preparing for a funeral is one of the most emotionally difficult tasks we will encounter. However, by lessening the stress of understanding the details, we can concentrate on making it a day that honors the one we love.