Funeral Home Options

A floral tribute to a mother in Great Britain, a reminder that funerals often are for the survivors.

A floral tribute to a mother in Great Britain, a reminder that funerals often are for the survivors.

Have you thought about how your body might be handled after you die? If so, you may have considered creating options for your burial now, even when young. But, the thought of walking into a funeral home to discuss those options might keep you from making those decisions.

That’s why we prepared the following list of items that a funeral home might offer. You can use this list to make decisions about what you want for your burial. Additionally, you can use this list when you call funeral homes to discuss their options and costs. This is true pre-planning, and it doesn’t cost anything to make those decisions now. However, you may want to create an account that is earmarked for your burial so loved ones don’t need to fret about the costs to fulfill your wishes.

The funeral home’s list may or may not include all the items listed below. And, your choice for #1 can help you to make decisions about all the other items in the list. Funeral homes are required by law to be transparent in their current prices. They also must agree to your decision to use other options when available, such as other caskets than those that are in the funeral home showroom and more. If you want a green burial, you may need to conduct more research to find a funeral home and cemetery that will fulfill your wishes.

  • Options for burial include traditional burial, cremation or gifting your body to science.
  • Transporting the body to funeral home
  • Emblaming and other body preparations. Learn about the laws in your state, and plan for options such as a death away from home where your body may need to be transported. In many cases, transportation of a body over state lines requires embalming.
  • Flowers? Or, other options for survivors to honor your life and death?
  • Traditional burial options, such as a vault, casket, headstone, etc.
  • Transportation of the body to cemetery, and other transportation possibly required for a funeral procession.
  • Plans for costs of wake, viewing, etc.
  • Printed items such as memorial cards, guest book and funeral programs.
  • Tents and chairs for viewing and/or burial service at graveside.
  • Copies of death certificate.
  • Assistance in notifying insurance companies and newspapers regarding your death. The option may include notifying organizations in which you are a member.

The funeral home may also ask the following questions:

  • Do you want an open or closed casket if you choose traditional burial?
  • Do you want an indoor memorial service or a graveside service or both?
  • Do you want an elaborate or simple service?
  • Who conducts the service – do you prefer a family member, a religious leader or a funeral home?
  • Who will speak at the service?
  • Do you want music? If so, what plans do you have for the “playlist”?
  • Do you want a reception or wake before or after the service or both or none at all? If so, where?

You also can join or talk with a memorial society to learn about all your options before you make decisions. While you may want to keep the funeral inexpensive, you also can be creative about your plans. After all, the funeral is for the living, and it can be the last gift you provide to your loved ones.

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