Funeral Planning

Planning a funeral can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.  There are so many tasks at hand, it might be difficult to even be aware of where to start.  When beginning the process of planning the funeral, you are most likely in one of 3 categories.

Someone close to you has just passed, and you have the responsibility of planning their funeral, and arranging the burial.

A loved one has a terminal illness or he or she is at a very elderly age, and it is time to begin the planning the funeral.

You may be choosing to pre-plan a funeral for yourself.

Regardless of the reason you are planning or preparing a funeral service, by reading this article, you will have a better idea how and where to start planning your service. We will also recommend supplementary information to assist with certain tasks.

1. Collect all necessary important legal documents. Some of these documents include, estate paperwork, will, birth certificate, social security information, discharge papers from the military etc.   Having gathered these documents will assist you and the funeral planner fill out all the paperwork that is necessary.

2. Understanding your budget before planning is very important. It might be uncomfortable thinking about a budget when planning a funeral, but it’s necessary. Check to see if your loved one has burial or regular insurance, or it might be necessary to pay that out of pocket in advance. You may like to check if there are other financial sources, for instance, family members, organization or the military.

3. Take a bit of time to research certain costs associated with the funeral. If you understand some of these costs for instance, funeral home admin fees, burial plots, caskets, printing costs and transportation will assist you in spending the money you have available more wisely and in turn make better decisions as to where the money will be spent. Our article about funeral costs can help you gain some more understanding.

4. After you have organized your paperwork, your budget has been reviewed and you have a bit of an understanding of the related funeral costs, it is time to talk with the funeral director or funeral planner.  Think about bringing someone with you, such as family member, trusted friend or clergy offering assistance with the decisions that must be made.  You’ll need to make choices about several things with the funeral director or planner at this time.


Here are a few general questions regarding the funeral planning process.  Knowing the answer to these questions will help you know quite a few of the details needed for your funeral service or your memorial service.


Should the body of your loved one be present during the funeral?

The body is present during a funeral and the funeral should be help shortly after your loved one has passed. During a Memorial services on the other hand, the body is not present. This allows more flexibility and time for your services.  We have several articles to help you decide on the right service for you such as, Choosing Between a Funeral Service or Memorial Service, Memorial Service Ideas,

You may be considering a cremation, if so, many options are available.  You are still able to host a complete funeral, although you may rent the casket rather than buying it and cremate afterwards. Or you could simply have the cremation and host a memorial service after.  You could also have a ceremony to scatter the ashes.

Do you want the ceremony to be religious and carried out in a church, or a more modern service? If you decide on holding the service in a church, consult closely with the church officials. You might need to follow certain rules and regulation that must be followed. Reference our article titled funeral service checklist for more help as well as funeral order of service for funeral services samples. For more assistance with contemporary services, check out our article about Personalizing Your Funeral or Memorial Service and Memorial Service Ideas.

Administrative Tasks, who will handle them?

Think about the administrative tasks that are needed.  Think about who will be writing the obituary or death announcement and contacting newspapers.  In which way will family and friends be notified and informed about the death arrangements?  Think about who will do the funeral printing.  This includes the Funeral Program Templates, Thank You Cards, Bookmarks, Prayer Cards, Postcards etc.  Who will be speaking or singing at the memorial service or funeral service? Often, the funeral director will help with most of these arrangements, but it makes things easier if you already know who is in charge of what.

Here are a few articles that will also help you:

How to write an Obituary
How to write a eulogy
Writing Thank You Notes


When you’re faced with planning and preparing a funeral, it might feel like a very big task, although if you understand the things that need to be done, it will help by making the whole procedure a lot more manageable.  Here at, we have assembled and written some of the most complete information to help you with planning a funeral or memorial. In addition, the funeral director will be able to assist you further.