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Pre-Planning Checklist

Funeral Pre-Planning Guide & Checklist

Why Plan Ahead

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be overwhelming, whether it was expected or not. There’s a lot that goes into planning a funeral, but making those arrangements beforehand gives you time to consider all of your options and make sure that you’re covering all of the necessary details. You can carefully consider the financial costs, the type of ceremony, and other personal preferences that will make a difference when honoring the deceased.  Still feeling unsure? Here are some of the most important reasons why planning ahead may be the best option.

 

4 Benefits of Funeral Pre-Planning

The funeral is a time to honor the life of your loved ones and begin the grief journey. We listed four benefits to explain why pre-planning a funeral is not only a good idea, but an important decision that will assure your family will have all the assistance they need when the time comes.

 

1.  It's Simple

Although it might seem like a lot of work, starting the process of pre-planning a funeral is quite simple.  Creating a funeral plan is something anyone can do at any stage in their life, and you can always make changes if you wish.

You can choose between filling out a form or meeting with a member of our staff to put your plan in place. Either way, our team will be pleased to assist you and facilitate this process as much as possible.

 

2. Create a unique and personal ceremony

Pre-arranging a funeral allows you to create a unique ceremony for you or for a family member, and make sure the person will be remembered in the way they desire to. The arrangements can be personalized to reflect personal interests and wishes. You can decide if you’d like a more traditional funeral(link), or a life celebration ceremony (link), it is also possible to choose the special place you want your ashes to be scattered (link) or if you’d like a memorial of some sort. More particular features can also be included, such as choosing the catering service, or deciding which songs will play.

 

3. Relieve Your Family’s Burden/stress

Pre-planning relieves your family of the burden of planning everything, and it gives them more time and energy to focus on healing and remembrance. Organizing a funeral while grieving is a challenging and emotionally charged task. It involves not only the main practical decisions but also the personal choices of what’s the best way to honor their loved one. The situation can be stressful, and it can also lead to conflicts in the family if the members don’t agree on the funeral planning process. By pre-arranging the funeral, your family will feel at peace because they will be prepared to attend their loved one's last wishes.

 

4. You can prepay and prepare yourself financially

Because all the decisions for a funeral need to be made at the moment, it can lead to several unnecessary costs. Prepayment generally means that you save money by being protected from inflation and price changes. By preparing yourself in advance, you will also provide peace of mind for your family, who will not have to figure out your funeral expenses at the last minute. Paying in advance allows you to have more time to choose the funeral details and the payment option that is right for you. And, if you change your mind, you can adjust your funeral plans at any time.

 

Funeral Pre-Planning Checklist 

There’s a lot that goes into planning a funeral, but making those arrangements beforehand gives you time to consider all of your options and make sure that you’re covering all of the necessary details. The following checklist will help you to make sure you’ve thought of everything when you begin creating your personalized plan.


Information you'll need to assemble:

Vital Statistics

  • This includes your father’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your level of education, and your social security number.

Affiliations

  • This includes fraternal, service, or union membership, along with any special recognitions you might have.

If you’re a veteran, you’ll also need to include:

  • Military service
  • Branch rank
  • Date of enlistment
  • Date of discharge
  • Name(s) of war/conflict(s) toured
  • Serial number

 

 

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Ways in which you can plan ahead:

General

  • Gather personal information for your obituary
  • Choose a charity to direct donations to, if desired
  • Choose a funeral home
  • Make note of any special instructions you desire for your services and final disposition


Funeral Service

  • Choose burial or cremation
  • Select a casket or cremation container
  • Choose the location and type of service
  • Decide whether you’d like to have a viewing or visitation
  • Choose a floral arrangement
  • Select which photographs and memorabilia you’d like to display
  • Consider any customs, traditions, or religious rites that are important to you and your family
  • Choose the clothing you’d like to be dressed in
  • Select music and hymns, if desired
  • Select a style for your stationery and memorial register book
  • Arrange transportation for your physical remains and your family
  • Brainstorm any additional ways you’d like to personalize the services or pay tribute to your accomplishments, hobbies, personality, and life story

 

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Participants

  • Choose a clergy member or officiator to preside over the service
  • Select any musicians whose talents you’d like to employ
  • Select pallbearers
  • Choose friends or family members to perform the eulogy, read scripture, or prepare a speech


Cemetery

  • Choose a cemetery
  • Select a burial or cremation plot, or a mausoleum, if appropriate
  • Decide between above- and below-ground burial
  • Select a memorial or grave marker and inscription


Remember that there’s no need to make all of the decisions right away, and that the purpose of pre-planning is to allow yourself to take the time you need when considering your options and making the choices that are right for you. For personalized assistance in creating your plan, consult one of our experts by contacting us to schedule a one-on-one meeting.

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