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. Don’t get overwhelmed by this list. Remember, it’s your plan, and you can include as much information as you wish. And remember, you can always update this over time if you should change your mind.
Information you'll need to assemble:
- This includes your father’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your level of education, and your social security number.
- 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
Ways in which you can plan ahead:
- 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
- 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/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 for your family to the gravesite
- Brainstorm any additional ways you’d like to personalize the services or pay tribute to your accomplishments, hobbies, personality, and life story.
- 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
- 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 monument 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.
Other Arrangements to Consider
In addition to pre-planning your funeral, there are a few other steps you can take to ensure your affairs are in order for your family members. While this is not a complete list, some suggestions include:
- Providing the executor of your estate a copy of your Will.
- Giving your representative a list of important accounts such as your retirement plan, insurance policies, investments, bank accounts and other crucial information.
- Designate a power of attorney, so that in the event of a serious illness or death, your family can access your information.
- Pre-pay for funeral and cemetery services, if you wish.
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