Funeral Pre-Planning Checklist

funeral pre planning

Pre-planning your final arrangements can help to save your family from the burden of making decisions during a difficult time. It can also help to ensure that all of your final wishes are laid out and planned ahead. You can choose to prepay for your arrangements as well which makes things very simple for your loved ones, ensures that your wishes are fulfilled and locks in today’s pricing so your funeral costs will not be increased based on inflation.

Here is a checklist to guide you through the decisions to be considered when making your final arrangements.

General Considerations

  • Identify the responsible person who will carry out your wishes
  • Make note of any special instructions you desire for your services and final disposition
  • Gather personal information for your obituary

Funeral or Memorial Service

  • Choose burial or cremation
  • Choose a funeral location and the type of service
  • Decide if you’d like to have a visitation or viewing
  • Select a casket or cremation container and an urn
  • Select photographs and memorabilia you’d like to display
  • Consider any customs, traditions or religious rites that are important to you and your family
  • Choose the clothing you’d like to be dressed in
  • Select any music and hymns you’d like played
  • Choose photographs and design your stationery and memorial register book
  • Brainstorm any additional ways you’d like to personalize the services or pay tribute to your accomplishments, hobbies, personality and life story


  • Choose a clergy member or officiator to preside over the service
  • Select any musicians who you would like to play at the service
  • Select casket bearers
  • Choose friends or family members to perform the eulogy, share scripture or prepare a tribute


  • Choose a cemetery (your funeral director can help guide you)
  • Consider if you would like an upright headstone or a flat memorial
  • Choose a burial plot or space in a mausoleum
  • Select the design and inscriptions for the grave marker


  • Consider the many options for the final disposition of the cremated remains
  • Decide if you’d like your remains to rest in a burial space or columbarium
  • Or determine if your ashes will be scattered or if a loved one wishes to keep the urn at home
  • Or choose to utilize scattering gardens for cremated remains

Remember that there’s no need to make all of the decisions right away and that the purpose of pre-planning is to allow yourself to take the time you need when considering your options and making the choices that are right for you. For personalized assistance in creating your plan, consult one of our experts by contacting us to schedule a one-on-one meeting.

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