Funeral Planning: Practical Guides & Planning Tools


Here you’ll find “how-to” guides for making immediate funeral arrangements and for planning a funeral in advance. Use our Funeral-Wise Planner to get instant funeral cost estimates and to create and safeguard your own plan. Or print out our Funeral-Wise Planning Guide to compile everything you’ll need when making arrangements.

If you have never planned a funeral before, the process is quite daunting. It’s also not something you do everyday, and the various guides in this section are meant to lead you through the stages of planning a funeral.

When Should I Think About Planning My Funeral?

Any time is a good time for funeral planning … except at the time of the funeral. Sooner or later funeral arrangements will be a consideration for us and there are compelling reasons to make funeral plans in advance.

Reasons to Preplan a Funeral:

1) Puts you in control and ensures your wishes will be known. Survivors may not know your wishes — or may assume they do know your wishes. For example, they may not know you prefer cremation; how much you’d want them to spend on arrangements; or whom you would want them to invite to the service. Planning ahead puts you in control by allowing you to make informed choices regarding your funeral and cemetery arrangements.

2) Provides social, psychological and emotional benefits to your loved ones at a difficult time. Not only does it simplify the funeral process for your survivors, it also eases the stress of deciding what you would have wanted.

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How Do I Make Funeral Arrangements Now?

The following guides will take you through the steps of arranging a funeral from making the first call when someone dies to the various arrangements to be made following the funeral.

1) First Call. The deceased is still at the place of death and a “first call” needs to be made to arrange for transportation of the deceased to a funeral home or other funeral service facility.

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2) Deceased Transportation. The First Call results in an initial transfer of the deceased from the place of death to a funeral home or other facility. In some cases, a second transfer may be required either — locally to another funeral home — or to another city for ceremonies and burial…

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Contributors: Rick Paskin, Jennifer Lane Moses