What to expect when planning a funeral

For many families, the decisions about funeral event planning for a loved one are made following the death, rather than ahead of time. What should you expect?

What to expect when planning a funeral

How an advisor or director of a funeral home can help

When a loved one passes away, the advisor or director of a funeral home can help you get through the maze of administrative formalities, such as registering the death and making a request for the death certificate.

  • He or she can also assist you through each stage of the funeral event planning.
  • When the time has come to choose, you don't have to be left on your own.

Items required for your meeting at the funeral home

To receive the death certificate you must supply the deceased person’s:

  • Birth certificate (or the information it contains)
  • Social Security card (or the number)
  • Parents’ names (including the mother’s maiden name) and their birth places
  • Marriage status
  • Date and place of death
  • Last address and phone number

You will also have to provide two pieces of identification for yourself, such as your driver’s license and a passport.

You should also bring:

  • Clothing and underwear for the deceased
  • Jewellery, glasses or other personal accessories
  • A photo for the newspaper, web notices and the commemorative bookmarks
  • A list of the names of those left behind to mourn, which will appear in the newspaper notices

It’s up to you to decide

Funeral event planning can prove to be difficult, unless the deceased made funeral prearrangements; if that is the case, the terms are already written into the contract.

  • Because there are numerous decisions to be made, you should think about asking a family member or a friend to assist you.
  • Once there, the advisor will suggest various options for the viewing, burial, cremation, and casket or urn.
  • You will also be asked whether you wish to have a religious ceremony, commemorative funeral or a prayer meeting.

If you hold a viewing, in many cases you can choose to either purchase or rent the casket.

  • You will need a hearse and one or several cars for the procession to the church or to the cemetery.
  • Think about the pallbearers; you can choose family members, friends or pallbearers from the funeral home.

Other types of tributes

It is more and more common to personalize funerals according to the tastes of the deceased or the family.

  • This type of intimate and exclusive funeral can help the family to cope with the pain of grief.
  • Don’t hesitate to express your wishes regarding flowers, donations, music, a photo montage, a video presentation or the reading of a meaningful text.

Trust in your funeral home

Funeral event planning requires courage.

  • Respect your limits and remember that the team of professionals at the funeral home should help you plan a ceremony that takes both your needs and your spirituality into consideration.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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