Checklist Planning a Funeral
Cost – Is there a pre-paid funeral plan, funeral insurance or savings set aside for the funeral? If not, who will pay for the funeral until the estate is settled?
Choose between burial and cremation, or other (did they leave an indication of their wishes?)
Decide on the type of service (religious/ non-religious/ humanist/ other)
Decide on the location for the service and committal (at a place of worship, crematorium or elsewhere)
Who will officiate or conduct the service? Your local Vicar, a Celebrant or someone else?
Arrange the date and time of the service
Decide whether you wish to have a reception or wake and where to hold it
Choose who will attend (a small, private service or open?)
Decide whether to have a memorial service
Send notifications with date and timings to family and friends
Decide whether there will be a viewing
Choose a coffin, casket, shroud or urn (as required)
Decide on the service content – hymns, music, readings, poems and prayers, etc
Choose who will write and deliver the eulogy
Choose pallbearers (they can either be professional or family and/ or friends)
Organise transportation (for the deceased, pallbearers and family)
Choose and order flowers (for the service, if required, casket and post-funeral gathering)
If you wish to, choose an outfit for the deceased
Decide whether the service will be live-streamed or recorded through photography or videography
Pick a photograph or photographs to be displayed at the funeral and/ or post-funeral gathering. Some people choose to have a short movie of photographs or video clips.
Choose personal touches, if you wish (eg book of condolence, memory jar)
Prepare signage, if required, for parking and directions to the service.
Plan the funeral reception or wake:
- Set a budget
- Choose a location/ venue
- Decide if/ what food will be served (sandwiches, cake, buffet?)
- Decide if/ what drinks will be served (tea, coffee, alcohol?)
- Tables and chairs (for food, drink and for people to sit down, if required)
- Cutlery, china, glasses
- Personal touches (photoboard, memory jar, guest book, etc)
- Signage for parking
- Music and musicians, if required
- Flowers (some people choose to bring the flowers from the coffin or casket and display them)
- Waiters and waitresses, if required
- Would you like a speech/speeches by a family member or close friend/s?
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