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How to Prepare for a Loved One's Funeral Arrangements

By Linda Ray ; Updated August 14, 2017

Funeral arrangements can be made in advance so that loved ones need not be burdened by making decisions when they are grieving. When a loved one dies suddenly without any prearranged burial plans, it can be a traumatic, stressful and confusing ordeal. According to the Final Arrangements Network, preplanning funeral arrangements can save money and strained emotions because there are a number of decisions that must be made and paid for.

  1. Pay the fee for a funeral home and funeral director to arrange for transport of your loved one, coordinate the viewing and/or funeral and file all the necessary burial permits required in your region. Basic fees range about $1,500 as of 2010.

  2. Read the contract with the funeral home to make sure basic services are included and what services are not. Extra details that may require an additional charge include flowers, time in the funeral home for visitations, embalming fees, staffing salaries, transportation costs and book register charge that could add thousands of dollars to your final bill.

  3. Buy a casket if your loved one is going to be buried. According to the National Caregivers Library, caskets vary widely in price, starting from as low as $200 and ranging up to $65,000 as of 2010. Cremation urns also can be purchased through funeral homes and range from $50 to more than $3,000 as of 2010. Funeral homes must provide you with a complete list of your options under federal law.

  4. Write out a list of people that you want included in the notice that goes to the newspaper. Include background and history of your loved one if you choose. Typically, the funeral home handles the notice.

  5. Plan the ceremony using favorite Bible verses or other significant readings. Discuss with your religious leader your preferences for the service if you are holding the service in a church. Funeral directors can help design a secular service and provide assistance with audiovisual presentations and other details.

  6. Tip

    To make sure you don't forget any important details while planning the funeral, take advantage of an online funeral planning form. Use a prepared checklist to monitor your activities.


    If you are helping a loved one prepare his funeral arrangements ahead of time, make sure copies of the plan are handed out to family members and kept in an easy to reach place. According to the Federal Trade Commission, funeral requests should not be included in a will because the will usually is not read until after the funeral.

    Don't be pressured by community or cultural standards that you are uncomfortable with. According to the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a funeral is a personal family affair and should be conducted for the comfort of your family and does not necessarily have to follow traditional ceremonial protocol.

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