Planning For a Funeral – A Checklist

By: Anderson Funeral Home
Monday, September 19, 2016

Planning For a Funeral – A Checklist

When someone passes away, there is a lot to be done. In addition to notifying loved ones, there is a funeral to be planned, which involves gathering information and making many decisions.  It may be overwhelming, but sometimes simple tools like a checklist can help ensure that everything gets done. The following checklist can help you keep it all organized when planning for a funeral.

First steps: notifications

  • The funeral home has been contacted so you can begin making arrangements for the funeral.
  • Anyone involved in planning the funeral has been called to schedule a meeting time with the funeral director.
  • Decide how the funeral will be paid for.
  • Gather information for funeral home/death certificate including:
    • Parents’ names
    • Social security number
    • Birth date of the deceased
    • Occupation and place of work

Decisions to make:

  • Will the body be embalmed? If so, when?
  • What will the deceased wear?
    • Clothing
    • Jewelry
  • What type of burial?
    • Cemetery plot
    • Vault
    • Mausoleum
    • Cremation
  • What type of casket or container?
  • Will you have an open or closed casket?

Honoring the deceased:

  • When will you have visitation hours and where will they be? They can be at the funeral home, but they don’t have to be.
  • When and where will you have the funeral services?
  • Will there be any special ceremonies during the funeral service?
  • Who will compose the obituary and where should it be published?
  • Who will order the flower arrangements?
    • Casket spray
    • Standing spray
    • Matching baskets
    • Specialty pieces (e.g., floral hearts, crosses, and bible)
  • Do you want to have any photos or memorabilia at the funeral?
  • Decide who will write and/or deliver the eulogy.
  • Who will speak or read at the funeral?
  • What music will be played at the funeral?
  • Who will create the program for the funeral and when will it be printed?
  • When will memorial cards be printed and what will be printed on them?
  • Do you need pall bearers and if so, how many and who will they be?

After the funeral service:

  • Arrange grave site transportation.
  • Do you need a marker or gravestone? What will be on it?
  • Do you need a vessel to store the cremains? If so, what would you prefer?
  • Will there be an informal luncheon or gathering afterwards?

Your funeral director can help guide you through this process. It is also helpful if you have someone that you can share the responsibilities with. Keep this checklist handy to help you when planning for a funeral.

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