Planning a Funeral: What Happens After Someone Passes Away

Published: 01st December 2009
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Planning a Funeral

What Happens After Someone Passes Away

Funeral, funeral home, funeral arrangements, death, guide, checklist

Planning a funeral can be difficult, stressful, confusing and expensive. It is hard to imagine that during this time of grieving, you will have so much to do and focus on. That is why this funeral planning guide and checklist was created-to help those of you who do not know what to do first when it comes to planning a funeral.

Using a checklist to help you plan the funeral will ensure that no details are overlooked. The first thing to do when a death occurs outside of a hospital or nursing home is to alert the authorities. You should do this by contacting your local emergency officials. When the authorities come they can make the decision to call the coroner, if necessary. This may be the case especially if the deceased had insurance policies.

After authorities are notified, it is time to begin notifying close family members, friends, and neighbors. It is important to notify close family members first, especially those who will be helping plan the funeral or those who need to make travel arrangements. All members that will be planning the funeral should meet. They should discuss how to pay for the funeral if money was not set aside beforehand for funeral expenses. They should contact the deceased person's lawyer in case there were instructions for the funeral.

All information will need to be gathered in order for the completion of the death certificate at the funeral home. You should contact the funeral home about what information needs to be provided. The funeral home will have many questions for you. They will use a checklist to guide you through the funeral planning process.

It is important to write an obituary. This should include vital statistics such as birth, marriage and death dates. It should list memberships, associations or charities they belonged to, where they worked, their hobbies, and family left behind. There are many places online that you can find to help you write an obituary or you can read other obituaries for ideas of how to compose an obituary. After writing it you will want to decide which newspapers or publications to have the obituary published in.

You will want to decide who will deliver the eulogy and contact this person. You will also need to arrange for pall bearers. Usually four to six men are needed. Pall bearers are usually friends or relatives. Funeral homes can also arrange for this service. One last thing to consider when planning a funeral is the grave site transportation-who will transport the family to the grave site. Transportation of the deceased should be provided by the funeral home. You will also want to make sure you have arranged for a grave marker at the grave site. A temporary marker may be selected if a permanent marker has not been purchased or engraved on time.

For more information about what happens after a death, please visit

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