Checklists: Planning A Funeral

Planning the funeral of a loved one is a stressful, painful process. Knowing what decisions have to be made can help ease the burden during this difficult time for the family.

This Checklist on “Planning a Funeral” has a corresponding Essential under the same title. The Essential will give you assistance on how to fill out the Checklist. Together, they will guide you through situations that often occur during a time of loss.


Here are some items that need to be considered:

  • Is there a record of the wishes of the deceased?
  • Was there a last will or testament?
  • Was an attorney or a power of attorney designated?

Is there a preference for the type of funeral service?

Religious Ceremony

  • Affiliation:
  • Officiate:
  • Location:
  • Phone Number:

Military Ceremony

  • Branch:
  • Local Post:
    • Post Commander:
    • Address:
    • Phone Number:
    • Non-religious ceremony

The Following Information will be needed for the Death Certificate:

  • Date of birth:
  • Place of birth:
  • Social Security Number:
  • Usual occupation:
  • Kind of business:
  • Military service:
  • Highest level of education:
  • Father’s name (first, middle last):
  • Mother’s name (first, middle, maiden, last):
  • Final resting place:

Will the final state of the body be buried, entombed or cremated?

If cremated,

  • Crematory:
  • What will be done with the remains?
  • Scattered. Where?
  • Mausoleum:
  • Purchase of urn(s)
  • People to whom urn(s) will be given:

If entombed,

  • Mausoleum:
  • Tomb:

If buried,

  • Funeral Home:
  • Funeral Director:
  • Phone Number:
  • Casket type:
  • Cemetery:

The following people need to be notified regarding the death:

  • Spouse:
  • Ex-spouse:
  • Children:
  • Parents:
  • Siblings:
  • Extended family:
  • Friends:
  • Business associates:
  • Organizations:

The following decisions need to be made prior to the visitation:

  • What will be the hours of visitation?
  • What will the deceased wear?
  • Who will transport/house family?
  • Who will officiate at the funeral?
  • Will flowers be used and displayed?
  • Who will take care of flowers after?
  • If no flowers, where can donations be made?
  • Who will gather photographs to be used?

The following decisions need to be made about the ceremony:

  • Who will deliver eulogies?
  • What music will be used?
  • What scripture/verses/poems will be used?
  • Will there be a meal following? If so, where?
  • Who will be the pallbearers?