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About 155,000 people die each year. That comes out to about 8.78 of 1,000 people dying.

If you’re someone who is thinking of funeral preparations, you might wonder where to begin first, and what steps to take. While planning a funeral might seem tough, there’s hope.

This article will go over the steps to planning a funeral in no time. Read on to explore these tips and tricks in order to plan a high-quality funeral minus the stress.

Why Plan Your Funeral Now?

Don’t leave the planning of your funeral up to your loved ones after they lose you since that’ll be a stressful time for them. When your loved ones are suffering from your loss, it’ll be harder for them to make decisions, and determine what funeral arrangement will be right for you.

You can decide whether to cremate, bury, or donate your body. You can even choose the area where you’d like to be buried.

Traditional Burial or Cremation?

Before picking out a funeral home like this, you’ll first want to decide between cremation or a traditional burial. Keep in mind that a traditional burial can be much more expensive than cremation.

Consider permits, death certificates, preparing the body, embalming, casket obituaries, coordinating with the cemetery, etc. You’ll also need to buy a burial site as well.

Cremation is starting to gain in popularity. It’s a great way to save money since it doesn’t require a headstone or grave. You can choose a cremation urn instead of a casket, which is much more affordable.

Many choose it since an urn easy to store at your home or to transport it. You aren’t in a rush to do a service right away since you can hold onto the remains as long as you need to. Then you can decide whether you’ll scatter the ashes, or hold onto them.

For your eco-friendly loved ones, a green or natural burial is an option as well. One option is having their remains turn into a tree. Keep in mind that even if you or your loved one chooses cremation, they can still have a traditional funeral service as well.

Create a Funeral Checklist

When you decide to go the traditional burial route, you’ll need to know what happens next, and for how much. Will you have a ceremony your family creates, a graveside, or one at a funeral home?

Will there be an open-casket wake? Who will be attending? You’ll also need to consider whether the ashes will be scattered, or if it’s a burial in the ground.

Plan Ahead

If you’re planning your own funeral, you’ll need to fill out paperwork deciding who will arrange your funeral. If you’re not sure who, you can take a look at the legal hierarchy for who is normally chosen.

In order to avoid the legal hierarchy, you’ll need to fill out paperwork to skip this traditional method. This will state who you want to take care of the arrangements in a legal document.

One example is known as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This agent will decide on medical decisions for you which differs from a Durable Power of Attorney.

In order to have this document, you’ll need to either get it online or from a lawyer. The document needs to state that you want this person to also be in charge of your funeral as well.

Shop Around

Considering funeral homes can be expensive, you’ll want to shop around to find the best deal. Contact different funeral homes, and receive a quote before you decide on one.

While some might not want to give a price over the phone, insist that they do. You can also check out funeral comparison sites online as well. The Federal Trade Commission requires that you’re given a price list of services and products.

How to Choose a Funeral Provider?

Keep in mind that some states require you to choose a funeral home for the service. Check out your state’s laws and requirements regarding this.

If you decide to move forward with a funeral provider, you’ll first need to check out the reviews, reputation, location, and price for them. Next, choose someone with who you’ll feel comfortable with. Find out if they offer any packages which might reduce the cost instead of buying items separately.

The Different Types of Funerals

There are different types of funerals including traditional, direct cremation, and direct burial funerals. If you choose direct cremation, that means your loved one won’t be out for viewing.

They’re cremated not long after they die, and their ashes are placed into an urn. You can decide on whether you’ll do a memorial service for them or not.

Payment Options

If you decide to plan your funeral in advance, you can pre-pay it. If not, your loved ones will have to decide who will pay for the different services and goods.

Many funeral providers don’t offer deferred payment plans. Often, you’ll need to arrange for the payment before the service occurs. You can pay for a funeral with a loan, credit cards, cash, or from a life insurance policy.

Announce the Funeral

Once preparations are made, it’s time to place the obituary online or in the newspaper. This will allow you to announce funeral arrangements as well.

Newspapers might have a limit for the size of the obituary. There are also deadlines on when they must be sent in before the paper is published.

In the obituary, you’ll need to give their place of birth, date, and place of death, their immediate family and surviving relatives, their age, and full name. Keep the price in mind as well since they can be expensive, especially if you include a photograph.

If you’re planning your funeral and obituary, you can write your own and include those you love, unforgettable moments from your life, and different lessons you learned.

Deciding on Your Funeral Service

Deciding in advance what you want at your funeral service will save your loved ones the stress of figuring out what to have. Decide on the different readings you’d like from your favorite writers and poets.

Consider having a prerecorded tape that they can play at the funeral. Or, write down some ideas on a piece of paper.

Decide if it’ll be a religious service, open or closed casket, etc. Also, will you have a charity set up instead of flowers?

You can also choose the different videos, photos, and post-service meals that’ll occur. Think about what outfits and jewelry you or your loved one will wear as well.

Obtaining Records

A Registration of Death will need to be completed once your loved one passes. You’ll also need to have a Burial Permit (Disposition Permit) as well.

You can find these forms at your City Hall office or online. Once completed, they’ll need to be sent to the County Recorder where your loved one dies.

Once the death is certified by the County Recorder, you’ll receive the Death Certificate. This is important for life insurance policies as well since they won’t provide benefits until they see the death certificate. Take a look at the death certificate to ensure that there are no errors.

Notifying Others

Once your loved one passes, find out if they have any dependents such as pets or loved ones who need to be taken care of. Plan who will take care of them.

Next, let their employer, doctors, insurance companies, credit card companies, gyms, or other places that they have payments going toward, that they died. Collect the mail and take care of the home while everything is being taken care of.

Once the funeral has been arranged, you can send out invitations to potential guests. Be aware of the different protections for you when planning a funeral.

This includes not having to pay anything extra for bringing your own urn or casket, other items not being added later on to a bill, etc. If items are in a package, they need to be priced separately as well for a comparison.

Funeral providers also have to price quotes over the phone. This doesn’t apply for mail, fax, or email though.

Deciding on Funeral Preparations

Now that you’ve explored more about funeral preparations, you should have a better idea of what to expect. Would you like to read more lifestyle content? For all of your lifestyle and business needs, check out our other articles on our site today.

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