How To Plan A Funeral Step-By-Step​


How To Plan A Funeral Step-By-Step​

Ease your emotional strain by letting this step-by-step checklist guide you through the funeral planning process.

1.- Contact The Deceased’s, Legal Representative.

When you contact the legal representative of the deceased, you will learn whether he or she has a prearranged funeral plan. If a plan exists, it will give direction on how to proceed with funeral arrangements.


2.- Select A Funeral Home.


If the deceased didn’t have a Preneed Funeral insurance policy, select a funeral home, and schedule time with a funeral director. A funeral director helps families plan and carry out funeral services.


3.- Choose A Form Of Disposition.


Disposition is the manner that human remains are handled, such as burial or cremation.

4.- Choose A Service Type.

Types of services include:

  • Religious funeral service: A funeral typically held at a religious place of worship and involves prayers and rituals from the deceased’s religious background.
  • Military funeral service: A funeral service that can happen at the deceased family’s request if the deceased was a part of a military organization, and it sometimes involves an honor guard participating in the funeral service.
  • Fraternal funeral service: A funeral that incorporates aspects from the deceased’s fraternal involvement.


5.- Choose A Location For The Funeral Service.


You may hold the service at a religious location, like a church, or you may select a place that held special meaning for the deceased.


6.- Find And Schedule A Clergy Member Or Officiant.


Clergy are ordained with a religious organization or church and perform pastoral services, while an officiant has no religious ties but is able to lead funerals.


7.- Select A Casket.


If burial was chosen, select a casket, which is a specially made box used to contain a deceased person’s body, and decide whether it will be open or closed at the funeral.


8.- Select A Burial Container And/Or Vault.


A burial container or vault is typically made of concrete and encloses a coffin to assist in preventing it from sinking.


9.- Choose Final Touches.


Discuss cosmetology and hairdressing for the deceased with the funeral director.


10.- Select A Cremation Container.


If cremation was chosen, select an urn or niche space and a cremation container.

  • An urn is a large vase used to hold the ashes of a cremated body.
  • A niche space is a recessed compartment in a wall where an urn can be placed.
  • A cremation container is a casket that is usually made of all wood and is purchased for the funeral service that is later cremated with the body.


11.- Arrange A Cemetery Plot.


  • Find the cemetery deed or proof of ownership. A cemetery deed is a document that proves someone owns a grave and has the right to be buried in it in the event of their death.
  • If the deceased hasn’t purchased a plot, you will need to secure interment space and get an exact location of burial disposition. An interment space is where an urn or casket is buried in a cemetery.


12.- Make Grave Arrangements.


Arrange for opening and closing of the grave at the cemetery.


13.- Secure Endowment Care.


Endowment care is the general maintenance of an individual’s gravesite in a cemetery.


14.- Arrange The Graveside Committal Service.


This service is a funeral ceremony held at the gravesite at a cemetery.


15.- Reserve The Cemetery Chapel.


Secure use of the cemetery chapel for committal prayers, which are said at the graveside committal service, if applicable.


16.- Choose A Grave Marker.


Better known as a gravestone, a marker is placed over the grave to mark where the deceased was placed.


17.- Arrange The Visitation.


Choose a time and place for the visitation service, which is a time when the family of the deceased makes itself available to friends and extended family members who want to express their sympathy.


18.- Prepare Obituary.


Provide information about the deceased to newspaper to have an obituary created. An obituary is an article that announces a person has died and offers detailed biographical information. (For a complete list of details to provide, read Checklist: What to Do When Someone Dies).


19.- Select Speakers.


Decide who will deliver the eulogy, which is a speech or piece of writing that praises the life of a deceased person.


20.- Select Scriptures And/Or Readings For The Service.


Choose a text that has special meaning to the deceased or tells a story about him or her.


21.- Gather Items For A Memento Display Or Memorial Board.


It’s an opportunity to display personal possessions or photographs of the deceased to show others a glimpse of his or her life.


22.- Choose Forms Of Media.


Decide on memorial video production, pictures, music, etc.


23.- Choose Charities.


Select charitable contributions for memorials in memory of the deceased, if desired.


24.- Purchase Register Book.


If you want to collect more than guests’ signatures, you may also use memorial prayer cards, if desired.


25.- Select Pallbearers.


Family or friends can assist in carrying the coffin at a funeral.


26.- Select Music.


Schedule instrumentalists and vocalists and choose music.


27.- Arrange Flowers.


Find a florist, select floral arrangements, and designate transportation to funeral service.


28.- Arrange Transportation.


  • Arrange a hearse to transport the body of the deceased from the funeral service to the cemetery.
  • Arrange a car to transport close family members from the funeral, to the cemetery, and to the post-funeral reception.
  • Arrange transportation and lodging for out of town guests.


29.- Organize A Reception.


  • Select a location for the post-funeral reception.
  • Contact the church or a caterer to arrange food for the post-funeral reception.