Funeral Planning Checklist

Category: Planning A Funeral


When a friend or loved one has passed away, it can leave you feeling lost and emotionally exhausted. On top of this, there are certain tasks that you will be mindful of. One of which is putting into place the funeral plans.

From choosing burial options to the finer details such as funeral music and flowers, we’ve put together a funeral checklist as a way to help you keep track of your arrangements.


1. Enlist the help of a funeral director

After registering the death and writing the obituary notice, now is the time to contact a funeral director to discuss arrangements for the service.

It’s important not to rush this decision and a helpful place to look is the National Directory of Funeral Directors. Once you’ve found the ideal director, they will move your loved one’s body to the funeral home.


2. Choose the type of funeral

There are lots of decision to make when it comes to the type of funeral, from the choice of coffin, to gravesite and memorial ceremony options, so make sure to ask your funeral directors anything you’re not sure of.

It’s also crucial to keep track of costs. Low-cost funerals are possible, so look into whether it may be cheaper to choose extras such as flowers and catering, elsewhere.

This is also the time to decide on burial options or a cremation. If your loved one hasn’t specified funeral wishes in their will, work with your funeral director to decide which is best.


3. Consider whether there will be a wake

This is a good time to decide if you will be hosting a wake. Once the official date of the funeral has been decided, make sure to book your venue. If choosing to hold a wake in your home, you can work out the details later.


4. Send out invitations

Now is the time to extend invitations to guests. With the help of a chosen few, you can make calls or send out written invitations.


5. Decide on the order of service

From speakers and pallbearers to the eulogy, it can be tricky to choose items for the order of service, but the funeral director will help to inform you of your options. Depending on your chosen funeral service, you may want to include hymns and meaningful poems before approaching the appropriate guests to then add these to the order of service booklet.


6. Personalise the service

Dedicated funeral songs for funeral entrance music can be a wonderfully touching tribute. And when it comes to floral decorations, these can be a lovely way of adding colour to such a dark day. You can organise flowers through the funeral director or get in touch with a local florist.


7. Organise transportation

It can often be easier to let your funeral director manage the transport, but you can choose to handle this yourself.

A typical funeral procession includes a hearse in which to carry the coffin, and another limousine or two for the immediate family members.

If a low-cost funeral is at the forefront of your mind, you could book the hearse and ask guests to make their own way to the service.

As a way to further help with the funeral requests, you can download a useful funeral checklist template here. It may be helpful to physically tick each one off as you work your way through the arrangements.

Of course planning a funeral will be different for everyone, as every family wishes to make funeral plans in their own way, But this guide should help as you look to organise any proceedings.