Important Items to Know When Arranging a Funeral

Important Items to Know When Arranging a Funeral

The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult situations to face in life. This can be especially trying if you are in charge of making the funeral arrangements. Our family here at would like to share with your family some points from experienced funeral directors that will help you in such a troubling time.

Many people think that when arranging a funeral, there is only once decision to make – choosing a funeral home. provides a user-friendly, online directory of funeral homes with descriptions in all 50 states and hundreds of cities across the US. (Click here to find the funeral home that fits your needs).

But in addition to the funeral home, there are other items to consider:

  • When will the funeral be held?
  • Who will attend?
  • Will the person be buried or cremated?
  • Will the ceremony be religious or secular?
  • Has a burial or memorial site been reserved or paid for?
    If not, then at which cemetery will the person be memorialized?
  • Will there be a eulogy? Who will deliver it.
  • Who will be the pallbearers, readers and ushers?
  • Who will perform the service?

You may or may not know but most funeral homes are operated independently of cemeteries. Burial, plot and entombment are not included in the cost of a funeral in most cases. Additionally, if you want to add a headstone there is an extra cost. Most cemeteries require some sort of marking to identify each plot. Your funeral home director will assist in making these decisions and is your best source of information.

When you have considered these questions and are ready to meet with a funeral home, here are some tips to help you make the best decisions:

  1. When meeting with the funeral home director it is helpful to have someone accompany you into the meeting. Because the loss of a loved one is so distressing, you might not hear everything the funeral director explains to you. Remember two minds and two sets of ears are always better than one.
  2. Did the deceased leave instructions? You might not be able to perform them as specified, but it is helpful to have them in hand before arranging services.
  3. What were his or her accomplishments, hobbies and interests? Keep those things in mind when choosing goods and services that will be associated with the funeral, such as casket color, casket materials, flowers, pictures and music. Create a memorial table. Funerals can be customized and unique. Ask your funeral director and they will assist you.
  4. Remember there are funeral options to fit everyone’s financial circumstances. No funeral is too small and no funeral is too large, as long as it is dignified. Some items are required, some are not. There are numerous ways to handle the financial aspects of the funeral. Discuss your particular situation openly with your funeral director and they will do their best to meet your needs.
  5. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Your funeral director and Funeral are your best sources of information. Qualified and caring funeral home directors know that part of their job is not only conducting the service, but helping to guide the family through the process.
  6. Ask for help. You don’t have to take care of everything yourself. Enlist family and friends to help with phone calls, transportation, keeping track of flowers and donations, arranging food and beverages, etc.
  7. Be prepared.

Here are some items that will help when making funeral arrangements:

Personal information of the deceased:

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Social Security #
  4. Mothers maiden name
  5. Fathers full name
  6. Place of birth (for the deceased and the parents)
  7. Nickname (if applicable)
  8. Occupation
  9. Resume or professional/career information (Obituary)
  10. Siblings
  11. Address of the deceased
  12. Proof of military service (if applicable)

Cemetery information:

  1. The deed

Personal effects:

  1. Socks or stockings
  2. Undergarments
  3. Shoes
  4. Suit or dress
    (Do not worry if you do not have clothes for your loved one. The funeral home can assist you in purchasing garments)


  1. Try to bring the most recent picture possible. This way the funeral home director can get an idea of how your loved one looked in life.

Covering these items will better prepare you when working with a funeral home. For anything else, funeral home directors are trained to help you through this difficult grieving process. Be sure to ask them for the information and all the various options that are available to you.

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