Funeral Plans: How to Organize a Funeral
When You Are Grieving
Did you know that a lot of millennials are planning their funerals? If you need to learn how to plan a funeral, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over funeral plans to help you organize the day.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Transport Your Loved One's Body
If your loved one passes away in a hospital or a nursing home, the transportation process is straightforward. The hospital or nursing home will have a procedure in place.
The facility will call you and let you know of your loved one’s passing. Then, the provider will ask you where to transport the body.
If your loved one passes away at home, you’ll need to call a non-emergency number. This way, a coroner will arrive instead of medical first responders.
Depending on where you live, an autopsy might need to get completed by the coroner. The state where the person passed away will need an authorization form signed.
Some states have money available for body transportation and the autopsy. Other states will charge to have these services completed.
File Records and Get Permits
State laws need the coroner or funeral provider to complete a Pronouncement of Death. This is also known as the Registration of Death. The funeral provider or coroner will need to get a Burial Permit as well.
Get these forms at your local City Hall or online. You need to submit the documents to the county recorder. Call the town hall if you need help finding out where to submit the forms.
If you work with a funeral director, they will know how to navigate the local regulations and rules.
Once the county recorder confirms that the forms are accurate, they'll give you a Death Certificate. The document is proof of death.
Did your loved one have a life insurance policy? If so, you'll need to submit the form. Otherwise, the company won’t pay out the benefits. You’ll also need to submit the form to the bank.
Check the Death Certificate over with care. Make sure there aren’t any errors and confirm the date of the death is accurate. You could have an issue settling insurance claims or closing out accounts if there are errors.
Let Your Friends and Family Know
Call family members and let them know about your loved one’s passing right away.
It’s a difficult phone call to make. Give yourself time to call people. Don’t call everyone in one day. If you need help, ask a close family member to help you contact others.
You will also need to call your loved one’s doctor, employer, and religious group. Let their health and life insurance companies know, as well as credit card companies.
If your loved one lived alone, have someone keep an eye on their home. Make sure mail gets collected. Otherwise, someone could steal valuable information.
Pick a Funeral Home
Ask your network for a referral. This way, you can find a reputable funeral home. After you have a few suggestions, call the provider.
Talk about your budget and goals for the service.
Choose a Funeral Service
Choose from traditional burial, green burial, interment in a mausoleum, cremation, and more.
A funeral director will help you make a choice and will explain the process and cost.
Ask the director if there'll be an open or closed casket. If you choose cremation, decide if the ashes will get scattered or put in an urn.
Choose a Cremation Container or Casket
The funeral home you work with will help you choose an urn or a casket. Prices will vary for urns or caskets, depending on the design, finishes, and materials.
Pick a Location of Internment
Some people buy a cemetery plot near the location, while others choose a family funeral plot.
Get input and advice from your loved ones.
Send Invitations Outlining the Date, Time, and Venue
When planning the funeral, you’ll need to consider a date, time, and venue. You’ll also need to send invitations and provide refreshments and snacks.
Ask some guests if they could prepare a eulogy for the service. Make sure people who were close to your loved one know about the service.
Photo Slideshows and Music
Today, people incorporate music and photo slideshows in the funeral service.
Consider creating a photo slideshow for your family. You could also ask someone handy with computers to do this for you. Coordinate with the funeral venue to make sure you can play the presentation.
Print the Programs
Families tend to print out programs at memorial or funeral services. You’ll acknowledge participants and identify prayers and readings. Sometimes, the funeral home will print the programs.
Pick up a Guestbook
Consider buying a guestbook for the funeral. You and your family will have a record of all those who attended the funeral.
Depending on the size of the service, you might pick up a couple of guestbooks.
Select Flowers for the Funeral
Consider picking up or arranging flowers for the funeral. If you received flowers, you could also bring those flowers to the service. Ask someone you trust to transport the flowers to the service location.
Afterward, you could donate the flowers to a local charity or hospital to brighten someone’s room.
Start planning your loved one's funeral. Avoid these funeral planning mistakes.
Don't Forget Anything With These Funeral Plans
We hope this guide on planning a funeral was helpful. After you contact a funeral provider, you’ll want to start thinking about your other funeral plans. Let your guests know and ask specific individuals to prepare a eulogy.
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