Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Funeral Plans: What You Need to Know

The caisson carrying the casket of Army Captai...
The caisson carrying the casket of Army Captain María Inés Ortiz arrives for funeral services (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s never easy to plan a funeral. However, it is important to have a clear idea of what kind of areas that you need to cover if you do have the responsibility for arranged one - what are some of the key steps that you need to take to ensure that you don’t have to deal with any unexpected problems in the preparation for and the day of a funeral, as well as after the event? From working with a hospital, to choosing a funeral provider, and including going over details with officials, it’s worth considering the following steps.

First Steps

You’ll first need to have arrangements in place with a hospital, a nursing home, or emergency services for a funeral; in many cases, these can be worked out in advance through written wills and documents that state preferences. Make sure that you are able to be in contact with medical services and a funeral provider.

Choosing A Funeral Provider

What kind of funeral provider you choose will depend on a number of different factors, from whether or not there are a list of approved providers as part of your life insurance, through to who’s available in your local area. You may find that you have a strong cooperative service in your area that can offer a comprehensive service.

Choose the Right Plan

Look at multiple aspects of a funeral before deciding on a plan, and use a will and funeral instructions to set out the details - these details can include whether or not the deceased wanted a burial or cremation, as well as what kind of service is required. You’ll also need to discuss budgets and features with a funeral director, which can include the expense of a coffin, procession, and grave marking services.

Going Over Details with Officials

Make sure that you take the time to go over all details with officials before a funeral - this can be invaluable to ensuring that nothing is missed, and that there hasn’t been any miscommunication. Particularly look at aspects like the choice of songs or readings at a religious ceremony, as well as at delivery times.


Work through a checklist of the kind of items you want to include in your funeral plan, which can then be folded into an overall budget by a funeral provider and director; such items might include urns, grave markers, as well as other services such as online notifications and acknowledgements that can be difficult to put together at short notice.


After the funeral, you’ll need to be able to handle any legal issues that might arise - make sure you have a solicitor to go through wills and an estate, and contact any employers, insurance companies, and banks to make sure that all records are updated. It’s best to get as much help as you can for this kind of work.

In general, it’s always best to plan for a future as far ahead as possible, and to compare as many different funeral providers as possible. Discuss what you want to do with loved ones, and get a clear idea of what needs to happen. Even if plans aren’t too specific, it’s better to have some kind of framework in place.

Author Bio: Liam Ohm is a freelance writer, writing on subjects such as funeral services to financial planning. In his spare time he enjoys running and attending seminars.

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