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Funeral Planning Checklist


Planning a funeral is a complicated process, which is made even more difficult by the emotional stress that accompanies the death of a loved one. Fortunately, many of the arrangements can be made ahead of time, which will decrease the burden on those left behind. Use one of the checklists below (simple or in-depth) when discussing funeral plans with your loved one, to make sure that his or her final wishes are carried out.

General Preparations

All of these items can be arranged in advance of a person’s death.

Assemble personal information for obituary

Choose a charity to direct donations to

Decide if jewelry is to remain or be returned

Funeral Home Services

Choose burial or cremation

Select a casket or cremation container

Select a burial vault or cremation urn

Choose the location/type of service

Choose family viewing or visitation

Choose a floral arrangement

Select a photograph to be displayed

Decide which religious or fraternal items are to be displayed

Decide what the deceased will wear

Select music, hymns, and solos

Select scripture or literature to be read

Select a memorial register

Select memorial folders and acknowledgement cards

Funeral Home Services: Transportation

Funeral coach

Clergy car

Family limousine

Pallbearer limousine

Flower car


Choose clergy or officiator

Choose organist or other musical participants

Select pallbearers

Select family member or friend to perform the eulogy

Select family member or friend to read scripture or literature

Cemetery Selections

Choose a cemetery

Select a burial or cremation plot

Decide whether above or below ground

Select a memorial or grave marker and inscription

Final Arrangements

The following items cannot be arranged beforehand.

Apply for death certificates

Apply for a burial permit

Set a time and date for the service

Request preparation and embalming

Arrange location and food for the reception

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