Use our checklist below to accomplish these tasks on your own - or let our experienced Funeral Directors take what may seem like an overwhelming number of tasks and turn them into a well-planned, meaningful funeral with no obligation and no pressure. Contact us if you’d like to pre-plan a funeral for yourself or a loved one.
Prepare and Decide
Set a goal to accomplish these tasks by a certain date – maybe the end of the year or the end of summer. Work on the tasks a little at a time or all at once – the most important thing is to work toward accomplishing them. Before you know it, you will have succeeded in taking control of a very important matter. And, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing for you and your family.
Prepare a contact list of individuals who should be notified in a medical emergency or death.
Tip: Give a copy of this list to one or two close friends or family members to keep in a safe place.
Write an obituary or simply jot down information you would like included in an obituary.
Tip: Don’t forget to include important information your family may not know or remember, like your mother’s maiden name, clubs or activities you participated in years ago, where you went to high school, and so on.
Decide where the obituary should appear.
Tip: Consider social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), newspapers, online sources, radio stations, alumni and club bulletins.
Select a cemetery - even if you choose to be cremated and have your ashes buried.
Tip: The price of a grave space will likely only increase over time. Pay ahead for the grave space and opening/closing fees, if the cemetery allows you to do so.
Determine what type of ceremony you’d like.
Tip: Click on "Funeral & Memorial Services" above. Once you’ve decided on burial, cremation, or green burial, click on "View Packages" to see just a few of the many options available.
- Select the following:
- For burial...
- Vault or crypt
- For cremation...
- Cremation casket/container
- Urn and keepsakes
- Urn vault or crypt
- For burial...
- Select specifics that will make your funeral personal and meaningful, such as:
- Poems or other readings
- Photos to be displayed or made into a DVD by our staff
- Stationery, such as memory/guest book, memorial folders, thank you/acknowledgment cards, and service folders
- Charity to receive memorial contributions, if desired
- Food/drinks to be served before, during, or after the ceremony
- Speakers and the eulogies or stories that you want to be shared
Tip: If you need a speaker, we have Certified Celebrants on staff who will create a ceremony that reflects your life, your style, and your beliefs.
Tip: Gone are the days of men wearing a suit and women wearing a gown or dress. Choose clothing that reflects the person you are - even if it’s blue jeans with a football jersey or camouflage hunting clothes!
Arrange and Delegate
You’ll need to provide the people you know and care about with instructions and important financial details.
- Give your Executor a copy of your Will and funeral planning documents. Safety deposit boxes are often opened up during the estate settlement process, long after the funeral. Keeping funeral planning documents there will be of no help to your Executor.
- Give your representative a list of important account information or telephone numbers for retirement plans, insurance policies, investments, bank accounts, safe-deposit boxes, properties, preferred law and accountant firms, and the mortuary.
- Designate a power of attorney to ensure that proper information can be accessed in the event of your illness or death.
Tip: Make sure a durable power of attorney for health care and a living will are in place so that your wishes are carried out if you are unable to do so.
Consider prepaying for…
- Cemetery charges (grave space, opening/closing fees)
- Funeral expenses, which can even include such items as flowers, musician fees, and stationery
Above all else, remember…we are here to help anyway we can. We’ll answer your questions honestly and share our experience to create the most memorable tribute possible. Contact us to get started preplanning today.