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A Relative’s Guide to Planning a Funeral for a Loved One

If you were to make a list of the things that you dread the most, losing a loved one is likely high on top. With death comes encompassing pain for anyone left behind. Thus, planning a funeral can be a tall order for the most.

However, there is no other way to go but to take on the process. As a loving relative, you want to give the best possible send-off to your dearly deceased.

With the pandemic making funeral preps tougher, careful planning is essential. The question now is what are the key aspects you need to cover in funeral planning?

Continue reading below for a comprehensive guide on how to plan a funeral for a dear relative.

Planning a Funeral Starts with the Documents

Planning a funeral can be tricky, depending on the nature of your loved one’s death. If he has a terminal disease and already bedridden, preparing becomes more manageable. However, if the death is sudden, things become ten times tougher.

Regardless of the nature of the death, you need to start somewhere. Hence, your planning should start with gathering all the important documents. Immediately following the death of your loved one, collect his insurance policies, marriage license, income tax returns, and bank statements.

Do the same thing for the property deeds and automobile titles. You also want to check if he has any disability claims, debt records, and business arrangement papers.

Furthermore, you need to secure at least 10 copies of the official death certificate. This document is a requirement in various stages of processes. Having multiple copies on hand will save you a lot of time down the road.

Also, you want to check if your loved one has any pre-arrangements concerning the funeral. These can be arrangements for a funeral plot or a local cremation service.

Who to Call?

There are some important people you need to call immediately after death. Firstly, you need to contact a service that will retrieve the body from the place of death. A funeral director can arrange for the pick-up of the body whether it is at home or in the hospital.

Secondly, you need to contact the attorney of the deceased. This will allow you to gain access to your loved one’s will.

Some people include specific funeral arrangements in their will. They also indicate in the will where their possessions will go. In case you are unsure if the deceased has a will, contact a lawyer who specializes in probate law.

Thirdly, you need to determine who the executor of the deceased estate. This is the person who has the legal rights to act on your loved one’s behalf. This can be a relative or someone very close to the deceased.

Only the executor of the estate has the power to handle certain matters like forwarding mails or canceling the departed one’s accounts.

Choose a Funeral Home

The next step is to choose a good funeral home. This depends heavily on the budget the deceased has. When searching for a funeral home, it is best to start with referrals.

Ask your relatives and trusted friends if they can refer you to a good one. Get at least three options then call each provider. You want to tell the funeral director your specifications for the funeral

You also want to discuss your budget. For the memorial service, there are many options available. For accessibility, you can hold the memorial inside the funeral home.

Alternatively, you can have the funeral service and memorial in a church where your loved one used to attend. You may also pick a restaurant and other establishments that offer spaces for rent. Regardless of the venue you pick for the service, be sure to follow existing health protocols.

Decide on the Funeral Type

This is the stage where you finalize the internment details. Your priority is to follow the wishes of the deceased.

If he indicated that he wants a burial, there are different options to consider. There is the traditional casket burial and there is also one that entombs the deceased inside a crypt.

Regardless of your choice, you need to pick a casket for your loved one. Also, you need to find clothes that he will wear in case there is a viewing of the body. Some families opt not to have a viewing and instead proceed with cremation.

Speaking of cremation, determine what the deceased wants for the ashes. Some choose to have their ashes inside a mausoleum or a columbarium. Some choose to scatter the ashes in a place dear to them.

If you’re going the cremation way, make sure to find a reputable local cremation service. Here, you can find a variety of urns, urn vaults, and other keepsakes.

Again, consider your budget when choosing a casket or urn. Explore different packages that offer the best value for money.

Arrange the Details of the Service

Last but not least, arrange the details of the service. Select a set of prayers and other readings to celebrate the life of your loved one. Be sure to consider the beliefs of the deceased, so as not to offend anyone in the family.

Also, pick a few people who may want to say their eulogies and stories about the deceased. They can be relatives, workmates, or close friends.

As for the program, consult with the rest of the family for ideas. You can follow a theme that represents your loved one.

Prepare for Life’s Other Surprises

Planning a funeral of a loved one is one tall order. With proper planning and support from others, you can pull off the task while coping with the loss. However, a funeral is only one of the inevitable events in life.

Discover more about preparing for the future by reading our other articles. We discuss topics that will help you face life’s uncertainties.

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