We have found that it is helpful to begin making funeral arrangements as soon as you are able. Having the conversation now may give everyone the chance to participate. In fact, we often hear families express gratitude that these conversations took place sooner rather than later. We have also found that some sometimes it is more difficult to make decisions and plan an appropriate tribute after death has occurred.
To help in planning, the following are questions you may want to consider:
- Have you selected a funeral home?
- Is there a place that has served other family members?
- Have you had a conversation with a funeral director about your wishes?
- Is there a faith community or a clergy member with whom you have a relationship?
- Is part of your tradition a service where your community gathers for worship?
- Have you selected a cemetery?
- If your preference is cremation, have you made plans for the ashes?
Download our PDF questionnaire on funeral home preparation here.
You may want to consider placing a death notice in the newspaper. If so, you might want to consider:
- Which paper(s) does your circle of friends, acquaintances and family read?
- Do you prefer a traditional piece or do you have a unique statement you would like to make?
Other information that will be included in a death notice:
- Names of family members (spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings)
- Names of organizations of which your loved one was a member
- Names of any organization you wish people to contribute to in memory of the deceased in lieu of flowers
For example, if you choose Hope Hospice, you would instruct the funeral home to use the following statement in the death notice:
“In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hope Hospice,
3356 Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237.”