Death isn't a topic we like to discuss, but it's a conversation families should have before an immediate need arises. Planning a funeral can be difficult, but using a funeral planning checklist takes much of the pain out of the process. Your best choice is to consult and pre-plan with your local funeral director.
There are a myriad of decisions that have to be made by someone. Here are just a few of the matters that crop up on any funeral planning checklist:
- Military service records,
- social security numbers
- life insurance policies,
- mother's maiden name,
- divorce or wedding documents.
These are just a few of the many items that constitute the business end of dying. You need to include them on your checklist for planning a funeral. And when death occurs avoidance is no longer possible - there is an immediate need for those records. Having your funeral planning checklist at hand makes things a lot easier for your loved ones. Think about it this way, if you are having a difficult time thinking about your death or the death of those you love -- imagine how much more difficult it will be once the death has occurred. These decisions are difficult enough to make in advance. They are even more difficult for people who are grieving to make.
Checklist for planning a funeral
- If cremation is chosen, sign an Authorization for Cremation form and file a copy with your will.
- Pre-purchase your arrangements and file the contract with your will.
- Inform others of the funeral home handling your arrangements.
- Have your attorney make a will stating your directive for cremation, or burial.
- Choose and appoint a willing executor to handle your will.
- Make your executor aware of the location of your will and cremation or burial contract.
- Tell your family or other responsible person about your directive(s).
- Inform them that your direction is in your will.
- Prepare a Power of Attorney signed and ready in case it is needed.
- Prepare a living will signed and ready if needed. Give copies to family members and physician.
- Have a Health Care Power of Attorney signed and ready if needed.
- Include advance directives in your Health Care Power of Attorney, including "Do not Resuscitate" orders and other medical directives dealing with nutrition, hydration, medication, etc.
This funeral planning checklist will help you in planning a funeral with a minimum of uncertainty.