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How to Make Funeral Arrangements

Because it is a time of grief and tremendous stress, making funeral arrangements can be most difficult. If a funeral was pre-planned, the process is a little easier. If it was not pre-planned, there are some basic steps that must be taken.

Gather information

If possible, consult the will of the deceased individual to find out if there are any special requests or detailed instructions regarding after-life issues. If the will is cannot be accessed until after the funeral, ask the attorney if any conditions exist.

Make contacts

Several people, groups, and organizations must be contacted. These include:

  • Family and friends
  • Fellow workers and the employer
  • Physician
  • Insurance company
  • Burial facility
  • Organizations and clubs to which the deceased belonged (Lions, K of C, church)

Choose a funeral home

If you do not have a preferred funeral home, shop around for one with which you feel comfortable. Meet with the funeral director and discuss particulars to find out costs, the type and extent of services, and to set a date. Once you have settled on a funeral home, it is time to move forward.

It will be necessary to select a coffin or a crematory urn. The funeral home will provide you with a number of options, or you can buy one from another dealer.


You will need to select a location for the funeral. Ideally it will be a location that accommodates most of the people who will attend. You will also need to set a date and time. Hopefully, the weather will be nice.

Other funeral arrangements

It will also be necessary to arrange and plan the music and events of the funeral. If there is to be a viewing or a wake, dates and times need to be established. Ask someone to deliver the eulogy, and create time for family and friends to say a few words.

You will also need to arrange for a caterer or for others to help with the after service meal. This is customary in most situations, and it can be held at a restaurant, the home of a friend, or in the meeting hall of the funeral home or church.

An obituary will need to be written, which can also appear in the program. It is here that directions for donations should be given if that is preferable to flowers or other items of remembrance.

Making funeral arrangements is a difficult process because of the added burden of grief. Working with a funeral director, minister, or friend can help make things easier.

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