Pre-Planning Checklist

There’s a lot that goes into planning a funeral, but making those arrangements beforehand gives you time to consider all of your options and make sure that you’re covering all of the necessary details. The following checklist will help you to make sure you’ve thought of everything when you begin creating your personalized plan.

Information you'll need to assemble:

 

  • Vital Statistics
- This includes your father’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your level of education, and your social security number.
  • Biography Information
- This includes church affiliation, history of employment, history of education, special interests or hobbies.
  • Affiliations
- This includes fraternal, service, or union membership, along with any special recognitions you might have
  • If you’re a veteran, you’ll also need to include:
- Military service
- Branch rank
- Date of enlistment
- Date of discharge
- Name(s) of war/conflict(s) toured
- Serial number



Ways in which you can plan ahead:

General

  • Gather personal information for your obituary
  • Choose a charity to direct donations to, if desired
  • Make note of any special instructions you desire for your services and final disposition
  • Decide if the obituary will be published in any out of town newspaper(s)

 

Funeral Service

  • Choose burial or cremation
  • Select a casket or cremation container
  • Choose the location and type of service
  • Decide whether you’d like to have a viewing or visitation
  • Decide on flower options
  • Select which photographs and memorabilia you’d like to display
  • Consider any customs, traditions, or religious rites that are important to you and your family
  • Choose the clothing you’d like to be dressed in
  • Select music and hymns, if desired
  • Select printed material
  • Arrange transportation for your physical remains and your family
  • Brainstorm any additional ways you’d like to personalize the services or pay tribute to your accomplishments, hobbies, personality, and life story.

 

Participants

  • Choose a clergy member or officiator to preside over the service
  • Select any musicians whose talents you’d like to employ
  • Select pallbearers
  • Choose friends or family members to perform the eulogy, read scripture, or prepare a speech

 

Cemetery

  • Choose a cemetery
  • Select a burial or cremation plot, or a mausoleum, if appropriate
  • Decide between above- and below-ground burial
  • Select a memorial or grave marker and inscription

 

Remember that there’s no need to make all of the decisions right away, and that the purpose of pre-planning is to allow yourself to take the time you need when considering your options and making the choices that are right for you.