An exhaustive list of things to do when planning a funeral could be made. Today it is about the top 5. The circumstances of a death will come into play in the importance of deciding which needs to happen first. These top 5 will be the first steps in most circumstances.
5 Things to Do When Planning a Funeral
Get a Legal Pronouncement of Death
The death must be “pronounced” by someone in authority such as a doctor in a hospital or hospice nurse. The person who certifies the death will fill out the forms that include cause, time and place of death. If a death happens at home call 911. If there is anything suspicious or the cause of death is not apparent an autopsy may need to be done.
Let People Know
Who needs to know is dependent on the circumstances of the death and who it will affect. You may need to call your job and let them know so you can take time off. If the deceased had school age children there school should know so they will be aware that they will be taken out of school. It also will allow the school to use any counseling or other resources it may have when they do return. If the death is unexpected you may even need to make calls to the employer of the deceased.
Say YES to Help
Taking care of admin stuff after someone’s death is not a one person job. There can be a lot of paperwork and calling around to get all the information needed. The amount of run around is very dependent on whether or not pre planning was in place. When one has experienced a loss a common response from loved ones is, “let me know if you need anything” or “how can I help you”. It can be hard to call those people up and say, yes I need help, but do it! People really do want to help. Delegate some of the tasks out to people who you can trust and take some of the burden off of yourself.
Find a Funeral Home
Finding a funeral home that fits your needs is key. Some may have already created a pre plan and the funeral home staff will be able to take on a lot of the planning from there. If there is not a pre plan you will have to sit down and make decisions that fit your needs. There are different plans and packages that can fit each family’s needs and honor your loved one.
Secure a Location for Funeral or Memorial Service
Open casket visitations and services typically take place just a few short days after a death has occurred. Due to the limited amount of time a body can be easily preserved a location for the funeral will need to be secured fairly quickly.
Some funeral homes have options for doing services right there. If someone has been cremated you may have more time to secure a location for a memorial service. Once again if you have a pre plan in place you will simply notify the church or whomever will be the host of the service.
These are just a few of the things to do when planning a funeral.
The truth is that there are many more small details and they may differ depending on the circumstances of the death. Having a pre plan will help make all the decisions so much easier especially because you will be grieving.