The average funeral cost starts at $8,000 and can run as high as $10,000.
Funerals cost a great deal of money and should therefore be planned with care. But in a time full of grief and other heavy emotions, funeral planning can be a difficult task.
Besides the support of family and friends, a funeral planning checklist can help. Having these often-overlooked details on hand will ensure you don’t miss anything essential.
Read this four-point checklist before sitting down to do anything else.
- Prior Funeral Planning
Of the many items that can be arranged prior to death, a funeral and burial are among the most important. If you know that your loved one made arrangements for their funeral and burial, then you can contact the funeral home they made those arrangements with.
If your loved one didn’t leave a letter of instruction, then you’ll need to make those arrangements yourself. If you have other family members involved in the process, be sure to consult with each of them.
- Decide on a Budget
It’s important to decide on a budget. You’ll need to know how much you can spend before you start meeting with funeral homes.
Discuss a budget with your family. Figure out what’s an affordable amount for everybody, without causing anybody financial hardship. If you’re having trouble coming up with the funds, consider asking family to contribute in different ways, like purchasing the flowers or bringing food instead of catering.
- Choose a Funeral Home
Once you have an idea of your budget, you can check with the local Funeral Consumers Alliance. They should be able to give you a survey of the funeral home prices in your area. That way you can narrow down your options to what’s within your budget.
Besides the list of homes in your budget, you can ask for recommendations. Speak with family, friends, and colleagues and ask them about funeral homes they’ve worked with. You can also check online and read reviews.
Visit the funeral homes that meet your qualifications. Get quotes from each of them and weight the benefits of working with each.
- Thinking About the Ceremony
The ceremony is among the most complex parts of making funeral plans. You’ll have to decide whether you want a visitation, viewing, wake, or rosary, for example. You’ll also need to decide whether the viewing will be public or only for the family.
Besides who will attend, you’ll have to choose pallbearers, a eulogist, and assistants to help you with the arrangments of the day. Consider whether you will have food for your guests and whether that will be catered or a potluck.
You also want the funeral to feel personal, to reflect your loved one’s life. That might mean hosting it in a particular location, such as a park, a lake, or a garden. Even the prayers, poems, songs, and hymns can be personalized to reflect their life.
More Family Advice
Funeral planning is difficult amidst the loss of a loved one. But if your loved one didn’t make arrangements prior to their passing, then you’ll have some work to do. Be sure to enlist the support of your family and friends to make the load that much easier.
And for more family advice like this, be sure to check our blog regularly.