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Funeral Planning Checklist

planning a funeral checklist girl

When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, the family can be left scrambling to arrange a funeral service quickly. Rather than coping with the loss and grieving, families have to face the added stress of planning a funeral. To help make this process simpler, we have compiled a helpful funeral planning checklist. This will help you understand the arrangement process and make you better prepared for the initial meeting with a funeral director.

1. Notify The Authorities

If the death occurs outside of a nursing home or hospital, the first call that needs to be made is to notify the authorities. This can be done by either calling the funeral home or your local emergency number to report the death. By calling 911, they will send a coroner to declare the death which can be important if the deceased had life insurance policies.


2. Notify Family and Friends

Once you have notified the authorities, your next calls should be to family and close friends. This is important because some relatives may need to be included in the planning process and others may have to travel to be able to attend the funeral.


3. Call The Funeral Home

After notifying the authorities and family, you should get in touch with the funeral home who will be handling the arrangements. During this call, we will gather initial information before scheduling a time for you to visit the funeral home and finalize everything.


4. Select The Services You Would Like Included

Following the initial call to the funeral home, you should begin to consider what services you would like included in the funeral service. This includes purchasing a burial plot, deciding if there will be a visitation, selecting a location for the funeral service to take place at and any special options like military honors you would like included.


5. Select Funeral Products

During this step of the process, you will select the funeral products you would like to purchase. This includes the casket, vault (if necessary), tombstone, flowers, stationery products and anything else you would like included.


6. Make Plans for The Funeral Service

This is when you will select what will occur during the funeral service. This is done by choosing what readings will take place, music that will be played, who will speak during the service, and who will carry out certain duties such as pallbearers or master of ceremonies.


7. Write an Obituary

After the arrangements for the service have been made, an obituary or death notice can be written. Within the obituary, should be details about the deceased’s life including family and achievements. It should also include information about the upcoming service, so friends & family know the date, time and location.


8. Invite Guest to The Funeral Service

The final step in the checklist is to invite friends and family to the funeral service. This can be done by calling, emailing, and sharing the obituary online so those who would like to attend can make room in their schedule. With each of the families we serve, an online memorial tribute site is created through the Book of Memories. We encourage each family to share this website online so friends and family can know the details about the service while reminiscing over memories and expressing condolences.

Keep this checklist with you and when you complete a task, cross it off. If you still would like to talk more about it, pleas do not hesitate us to call us at 718-351-5858. 

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