Planning a loved one's funeral or memorial service
While planning a final service is difficult when a family is grieving, knowing what is important will help you make better decisions.
Here are some items to consider as you move forward with the planning process:
- Was there a will or other Last Wishes document? Check with close family members, family attorney or personal representative. This document could assist you in the planning process.
- Decide if you want assistance from a trusted source. Sometimes a friend, co-worker or attorney who is removed from the recent death can be helpful. The Federal Trade Commission recommends this as a way to ensure you don’t “emotionally overspend.”
- Are you planning burial or cremation? This decision will narrow your focus as you move forward.
- Other considerations include the notification of family and friends, the use of flowers, music or readings, publishing an obituary, whether to host a post-service reception or vigil and the length of time allowed or desired between death and the service. A service provider will be able to discuss and implement these options. You may want to consider reviewing this information with family or friends as well.
There are many options available for a funeral or memorial service. Make a list of what you consider to be the most important ways to honor the life of your loved one; then stick to those key items as you plan the service.