Funeral Planning Checklist


Funeral planning can be a complicated, overwhelming process, especially when you are under the stress of grief. One of the best ways to avoid additional stress is to pre-plan funerals whenever possible for yourself and loved ones, but this isn’t always possible. There are also several issues that can’t be sorted until death occurs.

In order to make this process easier, here is a funeral planning checklist for your use.

Funeral arrangements

These tasks can be completed before death as part of a pre-arrangement.

  • Decide between burial and cremation

  • Choose a funeral home

  • Choose a cemetery and plot

  • Select a headstone and inscription

  • Decide if jewelry is to be returned or remain with the deceased

  • Pick out funeral clothing if necessary

  • Choose clergy, music, scripture, and eulogists

  • Select a burial container or cremation urn

  • Select photographs and videos for display at the funeral

  • Choose pallbearers

  • Sign documents for burial or cremation permit

  • Arrange for funeral transportation for deceased, family, clergy, and pallbearers

  • Assemble the obituary

    • Facts for the obituary might include:

      • Given name

      • Date and place of birth

      • Mother’s maiden name, father’s name and both places of birth

      • Occupation

      • Education

      • Survivors and their relationship to the deceased

Immediately After Death

  • Arrange for transfer of body from place of death to funeral home (often via ambulance)

  • Notify the deceased’s circle

    • People who may need to be contacted:

      • Friends

      • Family members

      • Employers

      • Doctors

      • Insurance agents (car, home, life)

      • Attorney

      • Funeral home

      • Cemetary

  • Submit the obituary

  • If there has been no pre-planning, search for written instructions about body disposition and funeral plans

  • Apply for a burial certificate

  • Choose a time, place, and location for the funeral service

  • Arrange a time, place, location, and catering services for the reception

  • Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions

  • Have mail forwarded

  • Arrange for a house sitter, if necessary

After the Funeral

  • Apply for death certificates (10-15 copies recommended)

  • Contact the local Social Security Office

  • Contact pension, retirement, and insurance agents to inquire about death benefits

  • Collect important documents

    • Try to gather these documents before death, when possible:

      • Will

      • Birth Certificate

      • Social Security Card

      • Citizenship papers

      • Past two years of income tax returns

      • Marriage license

      • Deeds to property

      • Vehicle title

      • Insurance policies (health, life, home)

      • Military discharge papers

All of the things on this checklist are important, but not every item will apply to your specific situation. Amend this list as you need to make it effective for you, and as always, feel free to contact the Hutchison Funeral Home with any questions.

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Contact Us

6051 East Seven Mile Road,
Detroit, MI
(East of Mound Road)

Direct Line: 313-893-1880
Fax: 313-891-1758

Hutchison Funeral Home

6051 East Seven Mile Road,

Detroit, MI 48234

Phone. 313-893-1880