How to plan a funeral

Published: 18/5/2023

If you're feeling overwhelmed with the task of planning a funeral for a loved one, don't worry you are not alone. To help you feel more prepared, we've put together a step-by-step guide on how to plan a funeral for your loved one.

Plan a funeral step 1: How to find a funeral director

If your loved one has already pre-planned their funeral, they may already have chosen a funeral director. If not, funeral directors offer a variety of services and packages. To help you choose a funeral director, it's important to ask questions and feel confident about the services they offer. To find a suitable funeral director near you, you can use My Tributes funeral director search tool here.

How to plan a funeral
How to plan a funeral

Plan a funeral step 2: Contact a funeral director

Once you have chosen a funeral director they will help you with arrangements such as:

  • Prepare and transfer the deceased to the funeral director's premises or mortuary
  • Complete official paperwork, including the processing of the death certificate
  • Understand options surrounding religious or ceremonial requirements
  • Support in arranging the funeral service and burial  

Plan a funeral step 3: Meet with the funeral director

Once you've chosen a funeral director, you'll need to attend a funeral arrangement meeting. Here, you can choose the type of funeral service and share any preferences you have for paying tribute to your loved one.

Plan a funeral step 4: Plan the details of the day

After making the necessary preparations, it's time to organise the specific details of the funeral day:

  • Determine whether it will be a cremation or burial
  • Choose the style of casket or coffin
  • Decide on the final resting place of the ashes
  • Consider whether it will be an open or closed casket
  • Arrange transportation from the funeral home to the cemetery
  • Plan music and select appropriate songs
  • Create a visual tribute
  • Arrange for flower arrangements
  • Consider arrangements for a wake or refreshments.

Plan a funeral step 5: Choose a minister or celebrant

You'll need to choose a minister or celebrant to help finalise the details of the funeral service, depending on whether you've chosen a burial or cremation. Your funeral director can help you find someone, or you can choose a close friend or family member.

Plan a funeral step 6: Eulogy and legacy

Writing a eulogy and choosing a legacy for your loved one is an important step. You can refer to our guide on how to write a eulogy here to help make the process easier. Choosing a legacy will depend on whether your loved one requested this or had any preferred charities or organisations for donations.

RELATED ARTICLE: What is a bequest and how do I leave one in my will?

Understanding how to plan a funeral can help make the process easier and less stressful for you and your family. To help honour the wishes of your loved one it's important to discuss their funeral preferences before they pass.   Remember, this is just a basic checklist to get you started. You may need to add or adjust items based on your specific needs and preferences. It is always a good idea to consult with a funeral director for additional guidance and support.

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