If you've ever had to plan a loved one's funeral, you know how
hard it can be. Funeral planning is an emotional time as family and friends
grieve the death of a loved one. This grief makes funeral planning a complicated
You can avoid the stress of funeral planning in the future if you take
the time now to plan your funeral. Arrange the details of your funeral
so everything can go smoothly when the time comes. Read on to learn how
you can make your funeral as easy and personal as possible.
1. Funeral Checklist
When you organize your funeral, you want to make sure that you are remembered
in a meaningful way. Consider the following as you make your funeral arrangements:
Type of viewing. How do you want your loved ones to pay their last respects? A viewing
(also known as a wake) is an opportunity before the funeral for family
and friends to gather together and view your body before the formal funeral
Location of funeral services. You can choose to have your funeral in your hometown, or if you have
moved away, it can be in your current home.
People you want at your service. Do you want your funeral service to be just for close family and friends?
Or do you want it to open to anyone who wants to come?
Master of ceremonies. This person will set the tone of your ceremony and can help conduct your
funeral in a manner that fits your funeral requests.
Speakers at your ceremony. These may include certain family members, close friends, or other people
who've had a major influence in your life.
Open or closed casket. The decision to have an open or closed casket is a personal decision.
Think about what would be most appropriate for you and your family.
Casket dressing. Consider which clothes you would like to buried in. You can be dressed
in a new suit or wear your favorite outfit.
Pallbearers. Not every funeral service has pallbearers. But if you would like to have
pallbearers at your service, think of who you like to carry your casket.
Personal touches. If you would like special music played, readings, refreshments, or any
other special details, be sure to include those in your funeral arrangements too.
Use this checklist as a guide to help you create a beautiful, personal
funeral service. When you write out your funeral requests, make sure they
are clearly articulated to avoid any confusion.
2. Casket and Vault Selection
The casket is often the most expensive part of a funeral service. The three
main choices for caskets are cardboard, metal, and wood. Caskets also
range anywhere from $350 to over $10,000 dollars. Visit a few funeral
homes to find a casket that fits your needs, and relieve this difficult
decision from your loved ones.
You are not required by law to have a grave liner or vault, but many cemeteries
require them. A vault or liner is designed to help preserve the cemetery
grounds and stop the grave from sinking. Your casket will deteriorate
over time, but a vault or a liner will keep the grave from collapsing.
3. Cemetery Costs
In addition to your casket and your other funeral costs, you have to pay
a cemetery for a burial plot. Burial plots can cost as much as $4,000
dollars for grave digging and vault preparation. Your cemetery will probably
also charge you for a headstone placement or grave marker.
These cemetery costs are important to remember when you make your funeral
4. Headstone or Grave Marker
A headstone is one of the last, memorable details of your life. It marks
where your body will rest, and written on it is an epitaph that you will
be remembered by. Before you choose a headstone, make sure you know your
cemetery's regulations on headstones. Cemeteries often have requirements
on the size, material, and type of headstone that can be placed above a grave.
Choose a headstone or grave marker that fits within your cemetery's
regulations and creates a beautiful resting place for people to pay their respects.
5. Memorial Service
After your plan your funeral, plan a memorial service. A memorial service
can help your loved ones remember you and your life after your funeral.
Additionally, these gatherings can help loved ones through the grieving
process. Whether it be a simple gathering or sharing one of your favorite
meals, your memorial service is a time to remember and celebrate the life
Everyone deals with death differently. When death is on the horizon, make
your funeral symbolic of the life you led. Plan how you would like to
be remembered and keep this plan somewhere where your loved ones will
find it. Make arrangements for your funeral with casket companies, funeral
homes, and family members. When you have made your final preparations,
you can rest easy knowing that this plan will make a trying situation
less stressful for those you leave behind.