5 Tips for Funeral Planning

When a loved one passes away it’s never easy. Dealing with a loss is even harder when you have the responsibility of planning a funeral. The financial and the logistical job of ensuring your loved one is put to rest can often seem like a daunting and difficult challenge. Funerals can be a lot of work to plan and can be stressful for you and your family. Here are some tips for making the planning a little easier during a sad time.

Create a Funeral Checklist

It’s important to determine what you would like to include in the funeral, who should help have a say in what happens and who will help pay for services. Come up with a preliminary list to help guide the process. Some items you need to consider are: where the funeral should be held, the size of the funeral, whether a reception should be included, who should officiate the service and if a viewing should be included. Make sure the funeral includes special moments that celebrate your loved one’s life, but also allows family and friends to grieve. You can find a variety of checklists at funeral home that can help you with your to-do list.

Create a Funeral Budget

The average cost of a funeral is around $10,000, so it’s important to create a budget and figure out how much can be spent on the funeral itself. Your loved one may have saved money as they grew older, which can help pay for their funeral, but this isn’t always the case, especially if a death happens suddenly. The casket is typically the most expensive part, costing over $2,000 and as much as $10,000. If you are going to cremate your loved one you can rent a casket. Cremation costs typically range between $2,000 and $4,000. Some other costs to consider include:

  • Funeral Directors and Costs
  • Official
  • Flowers
  • Music
  • Transport Arrangements
  • After Service Room and Catering
  • Burial Costs
  • Thank You Cards

Your family members or friends may be willing to pay for a certain part of the funeral or split the entire cost of the services. Make sure you talk to them about the financial needs and then determine how to split costs. Include them on the budgeting process too to help ease your burden.

Make a Life Insurance Policy Claim

If you are the beneficiary of your loved one’s life insurance policy, it may help you pay for some or even most of the funeral costs. Make sure you discuss the funeral plans with whoever is in charge (if it isn’t you) so you know the details, then contact the insurance company to file a claim. If the process is slow, you may have to borrow money for the funeral and recover the costs later once you receive the insurance money. Groups such as the United States Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or a local funeral society may assist with the funeral.


15 thoughts

  1. I really appreciate your tips. According to me, Pre-planning your funeral arrangements allows you to convey your last wishes. Also, it provides peace of mind and ease the Financial Burden.

    1. Thanks, Danny! Yes, having a plan in place matters when your loved ones need it most. Don’t forget to tell loved ones about your plans (like where to find important documents like wills, insurance documents, etc.), as well! Having a plan only helps if your loved ones know about it. 👍🏻

  2. My husband’s grandma recently passed away, and he and I are trying to do everything we can to help his family plan and prepare for the funeral. I had no idea that the average cost of a funeral is around $10,000, so I’m really glad I came across this article. It seems like a funeral is something that is really worth the planning in the end. I’ll be sure to share these tips with my family.

  3. My wife was recently asked to help plan a funeral for one of her relatives that just passed away. I think you make a good point how she ought to figure out a budget first and foremost so she knows how much can be spent on certain aspects of the funeral. I’ll be sure to pass the tip on so that her funeral planning can go as smooth as possible.

  4. My grandmother recently passed away and I wanted to help my mom deal with her grief while I planned the funeral. You mentioned that creating a funeral checklist is the best place to start funeral planning and to make sure the funeral includes special moments that celebrate your loved one’s life. Thank you for the great tips on planning a funeral, I will have to talk to a home to see if they can help make a checklist.

  5. I like what you said about how it’s hard to plan for a loved one’s funeral, and that lots of funeral homes provide checklists for you to help make things easier. My father passed away quite a while ago and having a nice service was such a great way to commemorate him, and I’m grateful that my mother didn’t have to stress too much in the process as she planned it. I think anyone in that situation or that is trying to pre-plan for their own funeral, would be relieved by the services funeral homes provide.

  6. My mom and I are planning my dad’s funeral services and we’re wondering what tips there are for us to use. So thanks for the advice that we make a checklist with the things we need to complete, like where it will be, who will be there, and if we want a viewing. I’ll be sure to sit down with my mom so we can start planning the funeral services by creating a checklist of everything we may need to do. http://www.shepherdfuneralhome.com/serviceoptions.html

  7. Thanks for the great funeral planning tips. I like your tip about coming up with a preliminary list, to keep things straight and organized. We’re expecting my dad to pass away anytime, so all of us siblings should start on that.

  8. I like that you mention really planning out the costs of the funeral to know what you’re getting into. My dad is looking to plan for my grandpas funeral and is looking to buy veterans funeral packages. I’ll be sure to talk to him about budgeting the whole funeral as well. http://www.bgsfuneralhome.com/veterans

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