The emotional toll of preparing a funeral can add stress and anxiety to an already tough situation, especially if the funeral is for a loved one who has passed away. Having a strategy in place is one of the best ways to defuse tension in such trying circumstances. In order to help you if you’re unsure of how to plan a funeral or where to begin, Funeral Caring USA has put together a helpful checklist.
The First Steps
It is important to know if there are any specific funeral plans outlined in the will before proceeding with the funeral arrangements. Are there any funds, life insurance, or funeral plans in place to meet the costs of the funeral? If not, how will the funeral be paid for?
There are situations when people have already discussed their wishes with loved ones, or they have left explicit instructions in a will or burial plan. However, if the deceased did provide funeral instructions, and you find that they are either impracticable or financially out of reach, you need not panic. Simply concentrate on what you can accomplish with your available funds.
- Select a reliable funeral home that meets your needs with compassion.
- Make arrangements for the body’s transportation to the funeral home.
- If necessary, arrange for the body’s preparation and embalming.
- Choose the clothing you want the deceased to wear.
- Gather information that will be included in the obituary.
- Find out if the deceased person qualifies for any burial benefits or services, such as veterans’ benefits.
- Decide on the type of disposition, whether you want a traditional burial or a cremation.
- Choose the casket or urn.
- Choose a gravestone and any inscriptions.
- Choose a site for the service and the burial.
- Pick a floral shop and decide on the arrangements you want.
- Pick photos, videos, and memorabilia to be displayed at the service.
- Pick funeral songs to be played at the service.
- Coordinate the transportation of the casket or urn.
- Decide who will deliver the eulogy.
- Obtain death certificates and copies.
- Obtain a disposition permit.
- Set a time and date for the service that works best.
- Submit the obituary online.
- Make plans for any meals or drinks that will be offered during or after the service.