Preparing for death and making funeral, cremation, or cemetery arrangements in advance, whether for someone else or your own, can be a difficult task. There are many decisions to make, but making them before they need — while the mind is clear and the feelings are manageable — protects your family from decisions that can be affected by strong emotions or financial stress. From planning a funeral in advance to getting your financial affairs in order, our funeral planning checklist can guide you through this process and help provide peace of mind knowing that you have taken care of important family responsibilities and made acquaintances. your wishes.
Planning a funeral service in advance
The benefits of planning your services in advance include recording your wishes, understanding funeral and cemetery prices, locking in today’s costs, taking time to review Medicare and Veterans benefits, and working with a professional. funeral in a relaxed atmosphere.
Planning your own funeral in advance means your loved ones won’t have to guess what you would have wanted – if you had preferred a metal casket instead of wood, an organist or a recorded version of your favorite hymn, or a traditional burial instead. of a cremation memorialization. Our caring providers take the time to explain the process of planning a funeral in advance just as you envision it.
What to consider in funeral planning
There are as many ways to commemorate a life as there are stars in the sky. The most memorable memorial services are those planned with attention to detail and those that include many personal touches that reflect the individuals they represent. When planning your funeral in advance, consider opportunities for personal expression and personalization.
Think about what made you or the person for whom you are arranging the happiest. It could be a special place, a song, a poem, a particular flower, or favorite food. What best reflects your tastes and traditions? A deeply religious funeral at your church or a celebration of life in the open air? A cremation with a simple toast or a funeral followed by a catered dinner? Whichever option you choose, a funeral can be as unique and memorable as you want it to be.
If you are planning for yourself, think of some of the following ideas to help make the service you plan more meaningful, and truly capture the essence of your life. Use the following personalized funeral planning checklist to guide your decisions.
Place where do you want your service to take place? A funeral home, church, or a more personal place like someone’s home — or a favorite spot like a beach, lake, or park — are all options to consider.
Music are there specific songs or a certain brand that you would like to have played at your funeral? You can choose religious songs, secular classics, contemporary music, or maybe even an original piece written by you or a member of your family. Want a playlist of recorded music or live musicians playing on-site?
Readings can include a eulogy, poems, scriptures, or stories shared by the officiant or friends and family.
A keepsake serves as a reminder to guests of the life they are commemorating, so make it personal. Examples include a tiny sneaker keychain for an avid runner, a bandana in a favorite color for someone who loves the outdoors, a copy of a favorite book for a voracious reader, or a mug for a coffee connoisseur. The sky is the limit and memory should speak of your personality and your passions.
Food is a natural expression of love. It is often traditional for friends and family to gather around a meal after a funeral or memorial service. Ir is commonly called a “Funeral Repast“. Bring your favorite dishes or special recipes to your celebration in a meaningful way. A baseball fan might choose a menu from regular stadium food. A taco fanatic might want a self-service taco buffet. An ice cream lover could plan an ice cream party, with all the liquid chocolate and all the colorful extras anyone could imagine.
Different flowers have different meanings. From a coffin arrangement to table bouquets, you can customize your flowers to meet the needs of your funeral or memorial service. Or you can choose a themed decor, such as fruit and vegetable centerpieces, or evergreen twigs and fishing supplies. A beautiful floral or themed display can add a personal touch to a celebration of life.
When planning a funeral or memorial service, it is also important to think about the cemetery arrangements. Choosing a burial plot, cremation memorial, or mausoleum crypt in advance is an important step in creating a legacy and ensuring a place that future generations can visit to reflect and remember.
Create a contact list
A contact list indicates in detail the people who will be contacted after the death occurs. Family members appear first on the list and then close friends and employees. if you are still working. You can designate a person from the list to contact everyone else, as well as communicate funeral arrangements on social media and other media.
Estate and legal considerations when preparing for death
There are estate-related and legal documents that must be in consideration as you prepare for death. Talk to an attorney to draft or update crucial documents, such as:
Your will. This document tells your family how you would like your estate divided.
Power of attorney. This gives someone you trust the authority to make decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Advance Guidelines. This tells your family and healthcare providers how you would like to handle medical situations that may arise.
These three documents can be updated or created at the same time. Make sure that you, your attorney, the executor of your will, and the person with the power of attorney have copies of the documents.
Financial considerations when preparing for death
In the weeks and months following the death, family members may have difficulty locating an individual’s services and subscriptions that need to be paid for, transferred, or canceled. Consider making a list of financial institutions, utility companies, and debtors to contact after you pass away. The executor of your estate will be responsible for paying the debts that you leave, selling your property, and distributing the money or property to the people named in the will. This is also the time to think about whether you would like to donate a portion of your wealth to a charity or one you are passionate about.
Here are some items that you might want to include on your list:
Bank accounts and safe deposit boxes
Utilities such as telephone, cable, electric, gas, and water
Financial institutions with which you have your car loan or mortgage
Investment institutions that have your 401 (k) plan or other retirement or investment accounts
In addition to paying debtors, your executor will also be responsible for verifying death benefits such as life insurance, veterans benefits, Medicare / Medicaid, and home or vehicle insurance policies that will be paid after you pass away.