Funeral Planning Checklist – Resources for Families and Pre-Planners

Friday, December 24th, 2010

A funeral planning checklist could be what makes a world of difference during a very difficult time: the passing of a loved one. Planning ahead of time for funerary arrangements is a difficult-but worthwhile-exercise. Here is a checklist to help you and your family in the funeral planning process.

Talk with your loved ones. The most important first step in pre-planning for a funeral is to have conversations with family and loved ones, as difficult as those conversations may be.

Prepare a will or estate. Getting plans down in writing is critical. There are online tools that can be used to store critical estate information.

Choose end of life options. Will the final arrangements be a traditional burial, a cremation, or a memorial? It’s possible to choose casket, cremation urn, burial plot, and other such details well ahead of time-and in a way that truly honors you or your loved one’s life.

Know your rights. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) governmental website has excellent, reliable information about funeral planning as well as legal rights, such as the Funeral Rule. It should be high on your list of resources.

Hire an attorney. A lawyer who focuses on estate and will planning will be able to provide you and your family with highly relevant, useful information. If you can, seek an attorney that has this experience. The American Bar Association is another resource to check out for legal info.

Choose a funeral home and director. This important step will minimize the pain and stress experienced by those who survive a loved one. You should feel absolutely comfortable with a funeral home-you should never feel pressured to choose or buy before you’re ready. Don’t be afraid to shop around.

While this is a basic checklist for planning a funeral, there are many resources available on the web. Don’t hesitate to do some research. Though it may seem strange, consider how to handle digital life (such as email and social media). And don’t forget to consider what will happen to your pets after you pass. It’s this kind of pre-planning that eases the strain on you and your loved ones.

Melody Jamali is the Founder and President of Une Belle Vie ( ), a Colorado company dedicated to bringing choice of cremation to public light. Their company offers the widest selection in decorative urns for cremation. Also available are custom cremation urns through their extensive artist community. To learn more about cremation and read an extensive library of resources for families in need, visit their website. Celebrate a beautiful life!

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