What to Expect When Planning a Funeral

Funeral home

Making funeral arrangements for a loved one, either before or directly after their passing, is no easy task. With all the aspects that come with planning one, it is important to keep in mind what you need to expect.

It is important to know what you need to bring to the funeral home. It will save you a lot of time to gather and prepare everything before your meeting with the funeral director. You need to bring two forms of your identification. Examples of valid ID’s can include your passport and driver’s license.

Requirements for processing the death certificate include the departed person’s:

  • Birth Certificate (or information therein)
  • Father’s name and mother’s maiden name, including both their birth places
  • Social Security Card (or number)
  • Marriage status
  • Date and location of death
  • Last address and phone number

 Other things you need to bring:

  • Clothing (including undergarments) and accessories (such as jewelry) for the deceased. These were particularly important if you plan a viewing before the burial.
  • A beautiful photo of the deceased for the notices that will be published in the paper and online (and for any possible commemorative items you might have made)
  • The newspaper notices also need a list of the names of the family, relatives, or friends left to mourn

The director of the funeral home can be your best friend

When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, planning a funeral can be stressful. Know that you don’t have to do it on your own. Aside from family members and friends who can assist you in making decisions, funeral directors and advisors are present to offer their help. They can guide you through the formalities and each step of arranging the funeral event.

They can provide various options for:

  • Direct Cremation and urn or a Casket burial
  • Renting or purchasing a casket for the viewing
  • Your preference regarding the type of funeral service (religious, commemorative, etc.)
  • Aside from the hearse, will you ask the funeral home to provide the cars for the procession?
  • The pallbearers. Do you wish for the casket to be carried in by family members and friends or by staff from the funeral home?

You make the decisions.

  • What music, flowers, do you prefer?
  • Do you want a photo or video presentation during the service?
  • A passage reading?
  • Testimonials from family and friends?
  • Don’t hesitate to add your personal touch or to tailor the funeral according to the preferences of the family or the deceased.
  • Communicate and coordinate with your funeral director about your wishes and preferences.

Things you need to check:

  • The Will

Read through it. Find out if the deceased made any advance arrangements for their funeral. If so, many of the terms and details should be in the contract, including prepayment for funeral and burial services.

  • The life insurance policy

Talk to the insurance agent. Verify if the policy offers coverage for the funeral and burial costs. Ask if the deceased is eligible to avail of these.

  • Connections and Affiliations

Various groups, organizations, and companies offer funeral and burial benefits to their eligible members. Take note of what organizations your loved one was a member of as their benefits may be available to you.

Veterans, their spouses, and children may be eligible to avail of certain funeral and burial benefits. Burial allowances, flags, grave sites and markers are some of the advantages that get included. These can be available at no extra cost.

Mutual trust is essential. A trust that is given both ways is the key to planning a good funeral event. Have faith that your funeral director and the funeral home’s staff will do their best to accommodate your needs and preferences. The funeral home will trust that you will have the confidence to communicate and express your wishes and comments.

General questions about cremation
Weighing the Options: Cremation vs Burial


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