Almost two-and-a-half million funerals take place in the United States every year. Yet, the death of a loved one is a very personal experience.
Funerals of course involve mourning, but they also are a time to reflect on and celebrate the life of the deceased. For this reason, planning funeral services can be a daunting task, one you may feel overwhelmed taking on.
Fortunately, there are only a few guidelines you need to follow to ensure the proper funeral. The information below will provide all you need to know about planning one that honors the life of your friend or loved one.
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The first thing you will want to do is contact the deceased’s legal representative. They may have specified in their will certain funeral wishes.
Also, locate the deed for the purchase of a burial plot or niche space (where an urn rests). If the deceased has not purchased a gravesite, you may need to secure an interment space.
You should write (or coordinate the writing of) an obituary for a local newspaper. This is an announcement that the person has died along with significant information about their life and accomplishments. This also is a place where you can prove information about sending flowers or contributing to charities in memory of the deceased.
Next, contact a funeral home. If the decision was not in the will, speak to them about options for disposition. This is how they will handle the human remains, including embalming or cremation. While many people still wish for burial, cremation rates in the United States continue to rise and now make up the majority of dispositions.
You also will need to choose a casket or urn and buy a gravestone. Consult with family and friends about what information it should display.
Note that many prominent funeral homes, like La Vista Memorial Park, can take care of every detail for you. You can learn more at their website: lavistamemorialpark.com.
Decide Among Options for Funeral Services
If your loved one was in the military, the family can request an honor guard to take part in the funeral services. If they were religious, reach out to their place of worship to see if services can be held there and whether a minister will participate.
Also, if the deceased was in a fraternal order, like the American Legion or the Masons, many of these have special funeral services. If none of these apply, you will need to invite close friends or family to deliver eulogies at the services.
If the deceased is embalmed, you should decide if there is going to be a viewing. You also will need to select clothing, jewelry, and any other personal items that will be buried with the individual.
You will need to line up transportation from the place of the funeral to the gravesite. You and the family should select pallbearers to carry the coffin.
Finally, coordinate any post-funeral receptions. Many people use places of worship or choose to have a gathering at a family member’s home.
Don’t Be Overwhelmed by Funeral Planning
Now that you have an idea of how to plan funeral services for a close friend or loved one, you can have the peace of mind that you are handling their memorial services and arrangements as they would want.
We hope this information was useful to you. If so, be sure to check out some of our other posts on daily life, business, travel, and many other topics.