Decisions You Will Need to Make When Planning a Funeral

After my father passed away suddenly, my mother, siblings and I all struggled with planning his funeral. We were already in a state of shock and sorrow, and then we were overwhelmed with the options and decisions we had to make in regards to the funeral. Luckily for us, we worked with an amazing funeral home and funeral director who helped guide us through the process. I know how hard it is to plan a funeral and how many decisions need to be made. This website was created in order to give families preparing to lay a loved one to rest a guide of sorts that will help them determine what decisions will need to be made and information about those decisions. I extend my sympathies to you if you are in this position and hope my website helps to make things a little bit easier for you.

Identifying The Right Funeral Home When Pre-Planning Your Funeral


As you create your funeral pre-plan, you'll want to find a funeral home (such as that will fulfill your needs and be supportive of your family after you have passed away. Funeral homes offer a variety of services, so you'll want to identify those most helpful to your family. Here are a few ways to make sure that you and your family will be working with the right funeral home.  

Talk With the Funeral Director and Their Staff

Get to know the funeral director at each facility you are considering. Find out about their management style and their attitude toward customer service. You'll want to feel comfortable that your family will be taken care of during their time of grief.

Talking with some of the staff will also give you a sense of how they will help your family through any problems they encounter during the arrangement of your funeral. The most helpful staff are those that will come up with creative solutions to any problems that occur instead of deferring to additional products and services that can be purchased.

Availability of Grief Counseling

Each funeral home will have its own way of handling grief counseling. Ask each facility what services they offer to support your family. Some of the approaches you'll find for grief counseling include:

  • The funeral home may employ their own grief counselors. They will hold grief support groups at the funeral home and will offer individual sessions to those who prefer more private help.
  • Some funeral homes contract with local grief counselors to provide these services. Support groups may still be held at the funeral home, but individual sessions may be at the counselor's office.
  • Another approach is to refer your family to local grief support groups. These could be community organizations, non-profit groups and religious organizations.

Cemetery Use

A few funeral homes own and manage their own cemeteries. You may find this helpful so you won't have to deal with a separate cemetery in your pre-plan. Ask about any restrictions that your family will need to know about when dealing with the cemetery, such as:

  • the size, shape and materials allowed for headstones
  • who is responsible for preparing the grave site and erecting the memorial
  • who is responsible for maintenance of the grave and headstone

Administrative Support Services

Filing for insurance and veterans benefits can be complicated and time-consuming for your family. Some funeral homes offer clerical support for these tasks. The staff will often know what paperwork needs to be completed and how it should be filed to get the fastest response. This will also take some stress off of your family as they deal with their loss of you. 


30 March 2016