Guide to Planning
Making funeral and service arrangements is important, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Planning for a funeral that isn’t yours, or planning your own arrangements can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Once you get past the discomfort of discussing funeral arrangements with your loved ones, funeral and service pre-planning really comes down to four things:
The information you want shared
Have you ever been called to write a eulogy or obituary, and found you couldn’t remember the things you should include? Creating a brief personal history with things like military history, your home church, and organizations you’re a member of can ensure your loved ones aren’t put in the same situation, and that the things that are important to you are remembered.
Who you want it shared with
You can decide where you would like your obituary to appear, or whether you’d like a funeral announcement at all. Documenting the local newspaper you’d like the announcement to appear in, or if there should be additional announcements placed online make it easy to know that when it’s time, your announcement will appear in the right places.
When it comes to pre-planning funeral services, one of the primary goals is to keep your loved ones from having to worry about whether or not they’re making the right decisions on your behalf. Not knowing if someone prefers to be buried or cremated can cause a lot of strife when the decision is left to loved ones, especially if they don’t agree.
Tackle the big decisions that mean the most to you, and document whether you want to be buried or prefer cremation, if there’s a special place you’d like to be buried or have your ashes spread, and if you want certain items with you or want to wear a certain outfit.
Important information for your family
Make sure your family can find the information they need by making a list of any safety deposit boxes you have, if you have life insurance policies, who your executor of state is, if you want your social media accounts deleted, what the combination is for your at-home safe, etc.
Start with the big things, like your will and bank information, and then consider things you do day-to-day that someone else might need to make a decision about. Think about what they would need to know to make that decision, and write it down.
Start thinking through your own plan, or help someone you love navigate theirs, with our Guide to Funeral Planning.