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9 Steps to Planning a Funeral

Funeral pre-planning is an essential supplement to a proper Estate Plan, and it’s also an act of love for your family - which is why we’ve included this section in our new RLO Estate Plan Binder, the “Everything Book”, under Tab 35.

To start the conversation around Funeral Pre-Planning, I found this article in USA Today that lists the 9 Steps of Planning a Funeral. As you can read below - there are many decisions to be made when planning a funeral.

As part of our Everything Book Webinar Series, you can also register to our free online Webinar about Funeral Pre-Planning. Our guest presenter, Chad Sparks of Calvert & Metzler Memorial Homes, will share the 5 Advantages of Funeral Pre-planning.

You can register for this free Webinar by CLICKING HERE.

As Chad Sparks will address in our Webinar, the average funeral takes more than 30 hours of planning and decision-making! Some of you may have experienced this and know first-hand how many decisions are involved at a time that is already very emotional and high-stress.

Here are the 9 Steps to Planning a Funeral provided by the National Funeral Directors Association and featured in USA Today.

1. Locate any pre-planned arrangements

Sometimes loved-ones pass away before we have the chance to ask all of the questions we need to ask, including any decisions they may have already made. Locate any information they may have about funeral plots they may have already purchased or funeral insurance policies.

[As mentioned above to learn more about how Funeral Pre-Planning works, we are thrilled to have Chad Sparks of Calvert & Metzler Memorial Homes share with us the 5 Advantages of Funeral Pre-planning]

2. Compile information for the obituary

Writing an obituary can be overwhelming during this emotional time. USA Today provides examples of obituaries that you can use as a template. Be sure to include charities of choice and other details that close family members may appreciate.

3. Choose a funeral home

Talk to friends and family about the funeral homes they recommend. We at Ritchie Law Office, Ltd. believe Calvert & Metzler Memorial Homes is a great place to start your funeral planning search. Calvert & Metzler has been in business in Central Illinois since 1929 and is one of the leading memorial homes in the area.

4. Decide on the type of funeral

There are so many details that go into the funeral service alone. The funeral home or memorial home can assist and guide you in these details, such as times, flow of guests, viewing, religious traditions, music selection, décor, refreshments, etc.

5. Select a casket or cremation container

If your loved-one didn’t already make known their preferences, there are options when choosing a casket or cremation container. Pricing will vary, so know the amount that your family wishes to spend.

6. Choose a location of interment

This can be a difficult decision to make if it’s not pre-arranged. If there are close family members in multiple locations or if there is a family cemetery located somewhere other than where your loved-one was living, this decision if full of various factors to consider. Plus, you may have the additional pressure of trying to carry out your loved-ones wishes and preferences.

7. Details of the service

There are many more details other than choosing a location. Be sure to discuss with family members to find out any preferences that were important to your loved-one. Decide who will be greeting, speaking, delivering the eulogy, etc.

8. Decide who will actively participate

Who will you choose to play an active role during the funeral? Decide and invite the appropriate people to fill in the roles of greeters, ushers, pallbearers, speakers, singers or musicians, clergy, as well as other roles.

9. The day of the funeral

Details are easy to overlook for the day of the funeral, especially when you don't really know how you will emotionally and physically feel that day. Consider transportation arrangements for yourself, meals, who will be staying at your home and more.

There are so many details and decisions to consider for planning a funeral. Again, if you would like to learn more about the 5 Advantages of Funeral Pre-Planning, sign up to our Webinar by CLICKING HERE.


This article is a service of Attorney Chad A. Ritchie and the Ritchie Law Office, Ltd.

Click Here or call (309) 662-7000 to learn more about Ritchie Law Office, Ltd. and our Estate Planning process, which starts with an initial consultation called our “Ritchie Legacy Planning Session”.

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