Funeral Arrangement Planning

Basic information for funeral needs

Funeral planning can be stressful, and it will no doubt keep you very busy; the best way to reduce the pressure involved is to make sure you're well prepared. It helps to start with a plan. On this site, you can find a comprehensive list of everything you'll need to take care of when you're planning a funeral. You can print off the detailed funeral checklist to help you organize the process and ensure clear decision-making.

First Steps

There is a lot of chaos surrounding a funeral, especially when the loved one in question has already passed on. You may find yourself overcome with grief. At these times, it helps to have someone slightly more removed from the deceased to act objectively and handle the fiscal responsibilities of funeral planning. While it may not seem like a top priority, with the right guide and some shopping around, you can save thousands of dollars and still have the funeral you want. You simply have to be aware of a few common funeral planning pitfalls.

If a death has just occurred you'll need to follow some basic first steps:

  1. Consult the will of the deceased to learn of any special or unique arrangements they may have in place. You may even find that the deceased has already made arrangements, with a pre-planned funeral. If the will isn't being read until after the funeral, consult with the lawyer, and ask if there are any special instructions concerning burial.

  2. Inform the following people:
    Friends and relatives
    Employer and fellow employees
    Insurance company
    Family doctor
    Cemetery or other burial place (e.g. crematorium)
    Other organizations to which the deceased belonged (churches, social clubs, etc.)

Funeral Planning Choices and Decisions

When you start to plan a funeral you'll learn that there are a number of decisions that need to be made, regardless of whether you're dealing with a death or pre-planning.

  1. Shop around for a funeral director . Get general price lists from at least three different funeral homes.

  2. Arrange a meeting with the Funeral Director of your choice.

  3. Choose a funeral service location. A church is one of several possibilities. If you choose a church, you'll need to choose clergy.

  4. Decide on a date and time for the service.

  5. Choose the kind of service you want: a traditional funeral, non-traditional funeral, military funeral, etc.

  6. Choose a casket (or cremation urn).

  7. Choose a burial container or mausoleum crypt.

  8. Choose flowers.

  9. Choose music.

  10. Choose the funeral car arrangements.

  11. Pick clothing for the deceased.

  12. Choose pallbearers, scripture readings (if applicable) and eulogists.


Planning a funeral can be a multi-layered process. After you've completed the initial arrangements, there are a number of additional things to be done:

  1. Provide information for obituaries

  2. Choose a charity for donations

  3. Arrange for caterers or others to take care of food and refreshments

  4. Consider finding a babysitter for any young children who might attend

Funeral planning involves a number of different (and sometimes expensive) elements so it's important to be prepared in advance for what is to come.

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