Planning a Funeral

Eternal Rest Funeral Home

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Consider the Individual

Obviously when making funeral plans, the individual must be considered. We need to look at their preferences. What type of personal information should be included in the obituary(Funeral planning checklist, n.d.)? What type of cremation container or casket would they like to be buried in (Funeral planning checklist, n.d.)? Where would they like to be buried? These are all personal choices, in which the preferences of the individual need to be taken into consideration. If there was no plans already in place, someone who knows the person best should help decide what they would have preferred for the funeral. Other things to consider are floral arrangements, memorial cards, and if any pictures will be displayed.

Consider the Family

When planning a funeral, there are many decisions in which you should consider the family. First, you should consider travel and lodging for any family or friends that live out of town. This can be difficult, as it is sometimes hard to accommodate other people during such a challenging time. Something else to consider is transportation (Funeral planning checklist, n.d.). Will you need transportation the day of the funeral, for example from the funeral home to the cemetery? Will you rent a limousine, and if so, who will ride in it? Something else to consider is who will be involved in the funeral itself (Funeral planning checklist, n.d.)? Will there be pallbearers, if so how many and who will they be? Will any family members do any readings? Sometimes family members want to be very involved in the funeral, and others do not. You will need to find out who would like to be involved, so you can make sure nobody is left out. These are all considerations that should be made that involve the family.
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Consider the Culture

Culture plays an important role in planning a funeral. Religious and cultural beliefs need to be considered when making the majority of the decisions for the funeral. For example, will the deceased be buried, or cremated? What type of service should there be? (ex: mass for a Catholic funeral). Will there be a visitation? What type of music or hymns will be played during the funeral? Who will lead the funeral, and what will they say/do? (Funeral planning checklist, n.d.) If the deceased has not expressed specific wishes on these decisions, their religion and cultural beliefs need to be considered before deciding. Make sure that whatever is decided, does not go against any beliefs that the deceased had.

Consider the Economic Factors

Something that can sometimes be challenging to consider is the cost of a funeral. Did the deceased have life insurance or money set aside specifically for a funeral? Funerals can be expensive, and cost needs to be evaluated when making decisions, specifically on things like casket pricing, cremation pricing, funeral services and viewing pricing. A funeral in the United States typically costs between $8,000 and $10,000 (Economics of the funeral industry, 2013). The last thing a family needs during this time is financial burden, so economic factors need to be considered when planning a funeral.

Other Resources

Some helpful websites with more information to look at when planning a funeral are:


This website includes a checklist of things to consider when planning a funeral


This article is a great resource and it outlines 8 things to consider when planning a funeral.


Funeral planning checklist. (n.d.). Retrieved from checklistsandforms_funeralplanningchecklist.pdf

Economics of the funeral industry. (2013). Retrieved from