Pre-Planning Checklist

The Complete Checklist for Funeral Pre-Planning


Funeral Pre-Planning


A funeral is a special ceremony that is meant to mark the passage of someone's life. It can be difficult to know what needs to be done in advance, so we created this checklist for funeral pre-planning. This list includes everything from choosing your service provider and selecting a time slot, all the way up until you have completed your final wishes.


Over time, your friends and family will likely come to you for advice about funeral pre-planning. By having a checklist ready, you can provide them with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Use the following checklist in deciding for your funeral.


Why is pre-planning very important?


Funeral pre-planning is important because your family will have a clear picture of your wishes and objectives. When a death occurs, you will have peace of mind knowing that your family and friends will be relieved of the financial strain of making funeral preparations. Pre-planning also provides direction to your estate executor. It also gives you the ability to make sure all your wishes are followed.


The Funeral Pre-Planning Checklist


Information you'll need to gather first


Before contacting any of these funeral homes in person, there are certain things that need to be done beforehand. This ensures everything is taken care of and all paperwork has been filled out correctly.


1. Vital statistics - This includes your father’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your level of education, and your social security number.


2. Affiliations - This includes fraternal, service, or union membership, along with any special recognitions you might have


3. For veterans - you will need the following:


  • Military service
  • Branch rank
  • Date of enlistment
  • Date of discharge
  • Name(s) of war/conflict(s) toured
  • Serial number


Finding the right funeral home


Without prior knowledge, many families contact the nearest funeral home and make funeral arrangements without even shopping for funeral-related services.  This can be a costly mistake that may result in overpaying for funeral services. It is important to take the time and do your research when selecting a funeral home. You will want to consider the price, location, and services offered by the funeral home.


Whatever disposition options you choose, you will be closely working with a funeral director to accomplish them. You don't want to be doing this on the fly at your time of loss, so it is beneficial to begin working with a funeral director as soon as possible after pre-planning.


Service options and dispositions


When preplanning your funeral, you will need to decide on the services and dispositions you would like. Service options include a viewing, funeral, or memorial service. You will also need to choose between burial and cremation. If you are undecided, your funeral director can help guide you in making this decision.


When choosing a burial, you can decide if you want a traditional or green burial. Traditional burial means you need to purchase a casket and the body is buried in a cemetery. Green burial on the other hand is a more environmentally friendly way of disposition. It is growing in popularity over the years and is less costly than traditional as you are not embalmed and your body is placed directly into the ground.


Cremation comes with many options for memorialization that include traditional services or scattering of ashes at sea or by air. You can also choose to keep cremated remains at home for private remembrance.


For questions, call one of our experienced consultants at (817) 594-2747


Personalizing the service


When choosing a service, you have many options for personalizing the experience. You can choose to have a viewing, visitation or open casket ceremony. You can also choose music, readings, and eulogies that reflect the life of your loved one.


Here is a list of service components that you can personalize:


  • Location and theme
  • Flowers
  • Attendees
  • Music
  • Eulogies
  • Gifts
  • Food


Choosing your final resting place


Whether choosing burial or cremation, you can further decide your final resting place.  You can choose to have ashes buried in a cemetery, scattered at a favorite location, place your urn in a columbarium, or even kept at home. If choosing burial, you'll need to select a casket and gravesite. You also have to decide if you want a grave marker, headstone, or monument. 


Costs and payments


The funeral business is a $20 billion industry and as years go by, the cost of funerals continues to rise. It's important to understand what you'll be paying for and when, so there are no surprises down the road. Most funeral homes offer payment plans, which can make affording a funeral more manageable.


With pre-paying for your funeral, you can rest assured that your wishes will be carried out. In addition, pre-paying is a great way to reduce costs for those left behind who may not have planned as far ahead as you did. It also lifts your family with the burden of financial responsibility, so they can focus on other important matters such as your funeral service and grieving for your loss.


Check out our funeral pricing guide for more details.


Pre-planning Checklist


Tying loose ends


With all the pre-planning almost complete, you have to shift your focus on what to do with your phone, internet, and cable subscriptions.  It may be wise to cancel them upon your death so they aren't mistakenly being paid for by your estate. Set aside some money so that your executor will pay for any disconnection fees. Make sure you have a list of any accounts that need canceling and notify the appropriate companies as soon as possible.


Don't forget about your pets if you have any.  If you have a dog or cat, then it may be wise to check with your family who will adopt your pet in the event of your passing. You can also pre-plan for your pet so that when they die after you, everything is taken care of by the funeral home.


Your final wishes


Finally, make sure your final wishes are known to family and friends.  This can include your funeral preferences, what you want to happen with your body, and any last messages you want to leave behind. This will help give your loved ones some closure during a difficult time.


It is also important to leave your funeral plans in your will.  This will ensure that your loved ones have all the information they need to carry out your wishes.


Remember that there’s no need to make all of the decisions right away and that the purpose of pre-planning is to allow yourself to take the time you need when considering your options and making the choices that are right for you. For personalized assistance in creating your plan, consult one of our experts at Galbreaith Pickard Funeral Chapel by contacting us to schedule a one-on-one meeting.


For questions, call one of our experienced consultants at (817) 594-2747


Galbreaith Pickard Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services
913 N Elm St Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 594-2747


Galbreaith Pickard Hilltop Chapel
4941 Interstate 20 Frontage Rd Willow Park, TX 76087
(817) 594-2747


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