A Complete Guide to Planning Your Own Funeral or Memorial
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A Complete Guide to Planning Your Own Funeral or Memorial

Knowing how to plan your own funeral can sound like a challenge—so we developed this straightforward guide to planning your own funeral to walk you through the process, help you identify what option is best for you, and discover the easiest way to have a plan in place for your final wishes.

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What are Final Funeral Arrangements and Last Wishes?

Planning your end-of-life arrangements can be confusing with so many different terms and phrases thrown around. As you start to consider what you need to prepare for the future, here’s what you need to know about final funeral arrangements and last wishes.

Final Funeral Arrangements and Last Wishes: In totality, final arrangements and last wishes include everything you want to happen after your passing—from funeral arrangements to burial ceremonies and just about everything in between.

Deciding on your final arrangements and creating a final wishes letter well in advance of your death will help your loved ones deal with their loss and grief, providing them with newfound peace of mind. Final wishes checklists typically involve a number of elements, including:

  • Your preference for service or gathering type, such as a funeral or memorial service, or a celebration of life held in your honor
  • Your choice on burial or cremation 
  • Your preference on embalming 
  • Your preference of casket, urn, or container 
  • Your decision on if your remains will be present at services or ceremonies 
  • Your preference for where your remains should be kept, scattered, or buried 
  • Your preference for a headstone or grave marker, if you choose to be buried in a cemetery 
  • Any details on who should be specifically notified of your death

In addition to preferences on end-of-life arrangements, last wishes letters can include instructions and directions for family members and loved ones leading up to the time of death. You might, for example, specify that you’d like to stay at home versus at a care facility, who you’d like to visit you, and anything else that pertains to your final days.

Final arrangements checklists and final wishes documents are not legally binding. But in the event of death, many people have specific desires which can’t be taken care of in a will. In most cases, a will isn’t read until after burial or cremation—so creating a final arrangements document well in advance is a great idea to ensure that your final wishes are seen through.

Why You Should Make Your Own Final Arrangements

While making final arrangements can be a complicated process, preparing ahead of time will not only ensure that your final wishes are met—but will also alleviate the emotional burden and financial stress for your loved ones, family, and friends.

Although making your own final arrangements may feel a bit overwhelming, our mission here at Everdays is to make it accessible, simple, and straightforward. We bet you’ll find it’s easier than you think, and it doesn’t have to be as gloomy as you may have imagined.

We approach final arrangements documents through 4 vital steps:

  1. Choose your ideal experience: What kind of funeral, memorial, or celebration do you want to have? Would you like a viewing or visitation so loved ones and friends can pay their respects? Who would you like to be in attendance?
  2. Pick the right venue: Where do you want the events or services to take place? Some choose a traditional funeral home; others opt for a celebration of life spent in nature.
  3. Find caring professionals to help: By designating supportive professionals ahead of time, you can make sure your loved ones will have the guidance they need to navigate through the arrangements when you pass—this typically includes a funeral home or funeral professionals, your religious institution, or perhaps a celebrant.
  4. Select your final resting place: Determine what you’d like to do with your body after passing. A few common choices include cremation, burial, donation to science, or an ash-spreading ceremony at a meaningful location.

What Cannot Be Decided Beforehand When Making Final Arrangements?

There are a myriad of decisions you can make in advance to decrease the burden and stress on your loved ones. While Everdays is here to help with the pre-determined arrangements, there are a few items that you won’t be able to take care of in advance, including:

  • Applying for death certificates 
  • Applying for a burial permit 
  • Ambulance transfer from place of death if applicable 
  • Setting a time and a date for the service
  • Requesting preparation and embalming 
  • Completing and submitting an obituary 
  • Arranging a venue and food for the reception or celebration of life

How Everdays Can Help You With Making Final Arrangements

Everdays helps seniors like you make a plan for final arrangements—so you can save your family stress, worry, and uncertainty. When you set up your free account on Everdays, our friendly Bot Eva will guide you through your final arrangements planning process.

From deciding on your funeral plan to leaving instructions on the type of memorial gathering you’d like, we offer a comprehensive experience so you have what you need to make the decisions that are important to you. Once your plan is all set, you can give your loved ones digital access—so they know exactly what to do when the time comes.

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Start Your Free Plan Today

Ready to see for yourself how Everdays can help you make final arrangements and plan for the future? We’re here to help you today so you can free your loved ones from stressful choices and unplanned expenses in the future.


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