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A Funeral Checklist

Whether you are planning your funeral service for yourself ahead of time or planning one for a recently deceased loved one, having a funeral checklist can be beneficial in a number of different ways. Primarily, it is going to ensure that you do not forget any of the small details, which often happens in the midst of grief and pain.

Here is a sample checklist of items that you will need to prepare for:

Notifying the authorities. This will need to be done if the death takes place outside of a nursing home or hospital. The appropriate authorities will then call in a coroner.
Notifying close family members and friends. Officials are required to notify next of kin, but if the deceased has close friends and family members who live out of state, then they will need to be notified so travel arrangements can be made for the funeral.

Many of the elements of this next part of the checklist will be performed in conjunction with a funeral director, but it is still important to have this list on hand.

Consider embalming the body.
If this will be a traditional burial you need to consider clothing & jewelry. (If this will be a cremation you can eliminate this step.)
Consider the type of burial. Will they be buried in a cemetery plot or vault, or will cremation be performed? If it is a traditional burial, decide whether it will be opened or closed casket.
Decide on visiting hours at the funeral home.
If you plan to have a funeral service, you need to consider when and where the service will be conducted.
The funeral director should be aware of the relationships of people attending to seat them appropriately during the ceremony.
Flower arrangements must be chosen. Mourners will need to be informed of floral preferences.
Consider setting up pictures or a photo album to remind well-wishers and family of good times or special events in the life of the deceased.
Decide who will be delivering the eulogy and who will write it.
Arrange for pall bearers. Usually 4 to 6 men are needed.
Consider who will provide transportation for the family to the grave site. Transportation of the dead body is generally provided by the funeral home.
What kind of grave marker or headstone will be used?
Will a wake or special gathering be held?

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