How a pre-need funeral planning checklist helps loved ones

October 22, 2014

A pre-need funeral planning checklist helps you to plan your last journey without leaving anything to chance after your death. By using a checklist, you can organize all the elements involved in a funeral and your loved ones can focus on honouring your memory.

All too often, people think that they have made the necessary arrangements in advance, but they may have left something crucial out. This means that loved ones have to make decisions on what they think you would have wanted, which can be stressful during a time of grief. By using a pre-need funeral planning checklist, you can prevent this unnecessary stress.

How a pre-need funeral planning checklist helps loved ones

What should a funeral checklist contain?

There are many decisions that need to be made when making arrangements for a funeral. A pre-need checklist should — at the very least — indicate your chosen type of funeral. This principally means a burial or a cremation, but there are other types, too, such as eco-friendly funerals. When it comes to a burial, your checklist should include all the elements. Not all of these elements are mandatory, so you should select the ones you want. For example, you may opt to be dressed by a funeral director, but choose to forego embalming. When being buried, your checklist should indicate the location of your cemetery and the deed for your plot. For cremations, indicate which crematorium you prefer as well as your wishes for the disposal of the ashes.

Pre-need checklists for services

Funeral services are at the heart of any final journey. Therefore, your checklist should indicate all of your choices. For example, if you want certain religious elements to be included, such as hymns, your checklist should say so. If you have no preference, say so. This will help your loved ones to make a decision with the knowledge that they are not making "the wrong choice." For veterans, whether to have a flag over the casket may be important to indicate, too. Your checklist should also include whether you want flowers or people to make a contribution to a charity in lieu of flowers. This will help those dearest know how to direct their remembrances.

Organ donation

If you would like to donate parts of your body prior to your funeral, then your pre-need checklist should make this clear. This can be one of the hardest choices for loved ones to face. Without instructions to allow donation on your pre-need funeral plan, your final wishes may not be carried out.

There may be legal issues related to the pre-arrangement of a funeral in your province, so consult a professional if you have specific questions. However, the most important thing to do is to indicate all of your final wishes, and a pre-need checklist is the best tool to help you do so comprehensively.

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