End of Life Planning: Include Funeral Arrangements

Funeral arrangements can be difficult to think about, but planning some of the details can be a great relief to your survivors. Learn about funeral burial alternatives, green burials, home death care and more. Create a final arrangements document to ensure your wishes are carried out.

End of Life Planning: Include Funeral Arrangements
Preparing for the Inevitable: The Importance of Funeral Arrangements in End-of-Life Planning

End of Life Planning should include creating a funeral arrangements document

This is a very difficult topic for many, but planning some of the details can be a great relief to your survivors. A funeral is one of the most stressful and expensive consumer purchases a family can make. End of life planning and final arrangements are an important financial transaction.

Many times these decisions are made at a time of bereavement and duress. Decisions and choices usually made when a person is in shock, having feelings of guilt, remorse and sense of loss ... cloud our judgment. Many times the act of spending money can get confused with caring or expressions of love.

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    Making your own funeral arrangements assures that your wishes are carried out. It spares your loved ones from facing decisions that can be both ... emotionally and financially difficult.

    Funeral arrangements can be hard to think about

    A final arrangements document is a very personal matter.

    The diversity of :



    Religious preferences, there will be many things this list will not address.

    There is a growing trend of:

    Funeral burial alternatives

    Green burials

    Home Death Care

    Coral Reef Burials

    Natural Burials

    Donating Body to Science

    Life Celebrations

    A basic funeral arrangements document might include:

    • The name of the mortuary or other institution... that will handle the burial or cremation and other funeral arrangements
    • Whether or not you wish to be embalmed
    • The type of casket or container in which your remains will be buried or cremated.
    • Do you want the container to be present at any after death ceremony
    • The details of any ceremony that you want before the burial or cremation
    • Identify who will be your pallbearers, if you wish to have them
    • Where your remains will be buried, stored or your ashes scattered
    • The details of any ceremony you may want to accompany your burial, or scattering.
    • This could include music, prayers, readings and who you would like to do those readings
    • Details of the marker, should you want one, to show where you are buried or interred.
    Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. You will find a lot of different questions answered directly.

    Checklist for planning final arrangement:

    • Biographical information – Full name ( women will need maiden name)
    • Address
    • Resident of present state – number of years
    • Place of birth (city, county ,state/province, country)
    • Date of birth – (month, day , year)
    • Social security number
    • Occupation
    • Employed by or retired from-
    • Martial Status
    • Name of spouse
    • Name of Father
    • Father’s place of birth and year
    • Mother’s maiden name
    • Mother’s place of birth and year
    • Education (grade school, high school, vocational school, college)
    • Religious affiliations
    • Name of children and their addresses
    • Military service(branch and rank)
    • Date of enlistment/date of discharge
    • Fraternal groups, service groups, union memberships
    • Special recognitions
    • List of relatives and friends names and numbers to notify
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    Funeral arrangements

    • Funeral home to contact (name address and telephone number)
    • Name of Funeral Director
    • Location of prearrangement contract if applicable
    • Location of preferred service
    • Officiating clergy and telephone number
    • Names of Pall bearers
    • Music you want
    • Flowers you would prefer
    • Memorial Services
    • Other requests
    • Cemetery location, address and telephone number and arrangements
    • Location of deed for plot
    • Name plot can be found -the section/plot number / block number
    • Special instructions for funeral arrangements

    Once you have all this information recorded, it must be put in a safe place. Please note that a safety deposit box is not an option, as it will be frozen at the time of your death.

    Make your family and attorney aware of where this information is to be kept. So that it is available when the time comes.

    Discuss your end of life planning and wishes with your POA’s and executor of your will. It will make things go smoother during an emotional and stressful time.

    Benefits availability

    Many families are not aware there are claims and benefits that can be applied for.

    Social security.

    When a deceased person has contributed to social security... his/her dependents may be eligible for certain benefits.

    These include death payment, survivor benefits, and Medicare benefits. These payments are not given automatically. They must be applied for through your local Social Security Office.

    Veteran’s Benefits.

    The families of honorably discharged veterans may be entitled to a number of special benefits... following a death of the veteran. This may include plot allowance, burial allowance, headstone, death pension, and burial flag. Contact the Veteran’s Administration for more information on funeral arrangements.

    Where do I look for help in making final arrangements?

    Choosing the organization that will handle your burial services is probably the most important decision you can make... from and economic standpoint. There are several avenues you can explore.

    There are funeral/ memorial societies... that as a member will help you find local mortuaries. They will assist you and your survivors and assure that you are charged a reasonable price. Many societies serve as watchdogs for the industry. And will make sure that you get and pay only for the services you chose.

    Each society is different, but you will be able to choose the final arrangements you want. Each society will distribute information regarding options. And explain the legal rules that apply to the final arrangements.

    If you would like more information you can look up... Funeral and Advisory Services. The Home Health Care Notebook will have a checklist and information on end of life planning.

    If you do not want to join a society, you can look for a mortuary or funeral home on your own. Shop around to find the facility that best meets your needs... to handle funeral arrangements.

    Do you need help caring for a loved one?

    Our Resources section can help you find the information and tools that you need. We have courses, videos, checklists, guidebooks, cheat sheets, how-to guides and more.

    You can get started by clicking on the link below. We know that taking care of a loved one is hard work, but with our help you can get the support that you need.

    Click here to go to Resources Section now!