Why Plan Ahead

Life is full of things we don’t want to do, like paying taxes and going to the dentist.  Some you can avoid and some you can not.  Planning a funeral is probably at the top of the list of things you do not want to do.

It may not be a conscious decision to pass the responsibility over to your family, most likely it is something you don’t want to think about so you put if off.

To Plan or Not to Plan

Before you decide to leave your funeral planning for another day, or to leave it to your family, here are a few things you should consider.

1.  Your funeral is vitally important to your family’s emotional well-being.  They need to mourn and to give you a meaningful tribute.  The funeral of a loved one is a essential milestone in the healing process.  It’s time to remember, say goodbye and begin moving on.  Telling your family you do not want a funeral does not make it easier on them, instead it is raises doubt whether they should honor your wish or to do what they feel is most appropriate.

2. Making arrangements at the time of the funeral is the most difficult time to plan a funeral. Decisions need to made quickly and emotions are running high.  Under stress and time pressure it’s easy to overspend and to take shortcuts on the ceremonies.  Having a funeral plan in place will be a great help to your family when the time comes to make your funeral arrangements.

3. Even a simple plan will be very helpful to your family.  By specifying your wishes, even in basic terms, you will give your family a road map for planning your funeral.  It avoids disagreements and guides the decisions and choices they will need to make.


Pre-need Checklist

Name of church (if service to be held)

Clergy to preside over service (name)

Music? Vocal? Instrumental?

Special musical selections?

Would you like to have a visitation?

Open casket?  Closed casket?

Funeral home preference?


Names of pallbearers

Memorial contributions

If veteran, flag on casket?  Folded?




Location of cemetery property and deed