When a loved one passes, the last thing you want to do is talk to people and make arrangements when it’s time to make them, but if your deceased loved one asked for a funeral, then it is your duty to see it through.
If your loved one had a funeral plan, some things have already been arranged for you. If they didn’t, however, you have a lot of planning ahead of you over the next few days. We’ve put together some information on the process and order you might want to do things that may be helpful during what is sure to be a very trying time. Read on for everything you should know about planning a funeral.
1.Make The Necessary Calls
When someone has passed away, calls need to be made to have them removed and taken to the appropriate funeral home – this is the first call you’ll need to make. You need to confirm if that trip is the only one the deceased will need to make or if there are other transport arrangements needed as well. If you are charged with organizing a funeral, chances are you are one of the people who were closest to the deceased. That means that it should be you who makes the calls to notify your friends and family that someone has passed away. This is not a pleasant task, but it needs to be done nonetheless.
2. Look For A Funeral Plan
If the deceased was ill for some time before passing, they have likely collected all the necessary documentation about funeral plans and placed it somewhere easy to locate. If the death was a sudden and unforeseen one, it might take a little longer to locate these documents, but they are necessary all the same. If there is a funeral plan, the funeral home, casket, and some funeral arrangements may already have been laid out.
3. Meet With The Funeral Home
Whether or not there is a funeral plan in place, you will need to meet with a funeral home to discuss arrangements. You’ll need to decide between cremation or burial; what kind of ceremony will be held and where, if you will have a wake or a reception, if there will be an open casket in the case of burial, things like flowers, etc. Some funeral homes offer an extensive range of services, so they may be able to help with most of the arrangements, but you might need to pay a separate visit to a florist and caterer in some cases. These meetings will be a lot to handle, but if you have a list of what you need to do and what you need to remember, you will be able to get through them.
4. Make Cemetery Arrangements
In some cases, the deceased will have left a list of stipulations here as well. If not, you will need to act as you believe they would have preferred in choosing a plot and headstone or a place to scatter their ashes. In some cases, funeral directors may be able to assist with this as well.
5. Arranging The Service
At a traditional funeral, there are usually a few different speakers, people who knew the deceased well and wish to share things about their lives and experiences together. You may need to reach out to people who you think would like to speak, or they may reach out to you. You’ll need to curate the order of the speeches and set the time and location if that has not been done already.
6. Handling Estate Matters and Admin
Though this is not technically a part of funeral planning, it often takes place on the same day as the funeral though this may also vary depending on the wishes of the deceased. You will need to do things like sending a death notice, filing for death benefits, canceling cards or accounts that the deceased may have had open, read the will or be present for the reading of the will and transfer any inheritance into the names of the beneficiaries. All of the above is better done sooner than later: dealing with grief is hard, but leaving things till later won’t make them easier.
Though you have a tough road ahead of you and some challenges to meet, if you keep these tips and mind and use them as a to-do list, you should get through everything. The best way to honor a deceased loved one is to give them the best send-off that you can, even if it is difficult at times.