What To Expect When Planning A Funeral

Planning a funeral can be very difficult, as family members are typically mourning the loss of their loved one. But knowing what to expect can make the funeral planning process slightly less overwhelming. The following steps usually need to be taken in the days after death to plan a person's funeral:

Contact Funeral Home

After a person passes away, the first thing that you need to do is contact a funeral home. The funeral home that you work with can arrange to have the body transported to their facility.

Gather Necessary Documents

A funeral home often takes care of filing the death certificate--this certificate is needed in for you to cash life insurance policies, receive Social Security Benefits, access bank accounts, and cancel credit cards. The funeral home will need necessary information in order to file the death certificate, so gather the following: birth certificate, Social Security card, marriage certificate, and any discharge papers from the military. You may also be asked to provide the deceased's parent's names, the date and place of death, and the most recent phone number and address of the deceased.

Meet with the Funeral Director

In the days after a loved one's passing, you will need to meet with the funeral director at the funeral home you are working with to make plans for the funeral. If your loved one wished to be buried, you will be able to pick out a coffin at this time. You will also have to make decisions about whether you want to have the body embalmed and whether or not their will be an open casket visitation for family members and friends. 

Decide Where the Funeral will be Held

If your loved one was a member of a church, contact the church directly to make plans to have a funeral service there. If you choose to have a funeral service at a church, the funeral home will be able to arrange to have the body transported to the service. In the event that your loved one was not religious or did not attend a specific church, you may opt to hold the funeral service at the funeral home. Many funeral homes have lovely chapels, as well as people who can conduct the funeral service.

After the funeral, the body will be transported to the designated cemetery if your loved one wished to be buried, and a grave side service may be held. If cremation has been chosen, the funeral home will have the body transported to a crematorium, and you will receive the remains.