It’s a difficult and emotionally draining time after a loved one passes away; however, it’s important to make decisions quickly and put together a plan. There are a few things you should know before you get start planning a funeral.
What Should You Know Before You Start Planning A Funeral?
Within 24-48 hours of a loved ones’ passing, you have to start planning the next steps. While the process may seem overwhelming, funeral directors, funeral homes, and other deathcare professionals can help ease the burden.
Be Aware of Your Loved One’s Wishes
Find out if your loved one made their own funeral plan. These plans often specify which funeral home they have chosen to use, what kind of funeral service they want, how they want their body taken care of, and more. Knowing the wishes of the deceased can really streamline the process with the funeral director. It’s also worth searching through the deceased’s documents to find out whether they set up a pre-paid funeral plan.
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Make the First Calls
You have to report the death immediately. Call the authorities and report it. You will need a death certificate and in order to start that process, report the death to the authorities. A doctor or coroner will work with the funeral director to finish this process. You will need multiple death certificates in order to wrap up your loved one’s official affairs.
Get in touch with family and close friends as early as you can. You can reach out through traditional channels, such as obituaries, phone calls, or relying on word-of-mouth. You can also use contemporary channels like social media or texting. Another useful communications tool you can also take advantage of is the Everdays app. This platform pulls together the most useful parts of each sharing channel to ensure that you, family, and friends will never have to go through losing someone alone.
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Understand the Costs of a Funeral
Paying for a funeral and other deathcare services can be a challenge; they’re very expensive and often require payment without the time to save. Find out if your loved one has pre-paid or set aside money for funeral services. If they haven’t and you can’t afford it, there is both public and private assistance available.
Find a Funeral Director and Decide the Best Type of Funeral to Have
If your loved one didn’t leave behind a funeral plan, you need to meet with the funeral director you want to work with and start planning the funeral. You can work with the director to decide what’s best for you and your family and also respects any wishes of your loved one. In the United States, there are three main funerals to choose from:
- Traditional (also known as full-service) funeral – this plan usually involves a viewing/visitation, a formal funeral service with an officiant, a hearse rental, and the burial, entombment, or cremation of the body. This is usually the most expensive plan.
- Direct burial funeral – this plan skips the viewing/visitation, and generally skips the embalming since the body will not be viewed before the burial. The body is laid to rest in a simple casket, with the option of having a graveside memorial service.
- Direct cremation – in this plan, the body is not embalmed or put out for viewing. The remains are cremated shortly after the individual has died, and his or her ashes are transferred in an urn, with the option of a memorial service at a pre-planned location (usually someplace outside a cemetery).
Some services are more expensive than others so be sure to discuss price with your funeral director.
Take Care Of Yourself
Planning a funeral for a loved one is a difficult process that often happens too quickly for mental preparation. Be mindful of the toll this process could take on you and remember your own needs. Surround yourself with friends and family and don’t be shy about sharing ways for others to help you.
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