Losing someone close to you can be one of the hardest things you ever have to experience. But, luckily, planning a funeral doesn’t need to be.

You’ve already got so much going on that the last thing you need is difficulty and stress while trying to arrange the best and most suitable send-off for the loved one you’ve had to say goodbye to. In order to make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together a list of the first steps that you need to take when planning a funeral.

First calls

Depending on the circumstances, you’ll need to phone the appropriate authorities to report the death, whether that be a doctor, coroner, medical officer or even law enforcement. Suitable arrangements will then be made to remove the body from the place of death and transport it to a funeral home. You’ll also need to officially register the death.

Notify friends and family

You’ll then need to start letting the relevant people know; making phone calls to family and friends. This can be especially difficult, so if there’s someone you can trust to have those conversations for you, tell them first and provide them with a list of people to pass the message on to.

Determine plans

Did the person who passed away have any pre-existing plans for their funeral? If they’d already discussed them with you, you can start putting them into place. Otherwise, you’ll need to check whether or not they’d written a will or expressed any wants or needs to anybody else. If not, it’s down to you to make the plans.

Choose the funeral directors

Picking the right local funeral directors makes the world of difference when you’re trying to arrange something so important in the midst of your grief. They’ll take the pressure off and do all the hard work for you, helping you with any important decision making along the way.

Decide on the type of ceremony

If your loved one didn’t already have any plans in place for their funeral, then you need to make the plans on their behalf. Were they religious? Did they want no fuss? Did they want a big celebration as opposed to mourning? And would they have wanted to be buried or cremated? These are all the types of things you need to consider when discussing plans with the funeral directors.

Pick the most suitable coffin and/or urn

The funeral directors will be able to talk you through your options when it comes to choosing the right coffin and/or urn for your loved one. Funerals aren’t cheap, so a lot of this will depend on the budget, although some people, prior to their death, will state that they don’t want a lot of money to be spent on their coffin. But choose something that suits their style and that you think they’ll be happy to be laid to rest in.

Arrange a time and date

Depending on the time of year and where you live, you could be waiting anything from a few days to a few weeks for there to be an available date for the funeral to take place. However, other things to consider are how far away do close family and friends need to travel from? How much notice will they need in order to attend? And do any family members have any holidays or events coming up which will mean they can’t make a certain date? It’s important to keep all the key people happy when planning your loved one’s final send-off.

These are just the first and most important steps to take when it comes to planning a funeral. But with the right funeral directors, they’ll be able to take care of the most part for you.


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