How to Plan a Funeral for a Loved One

Learn how to plan a funeral for a loved one so you can rest assured that everything is taken care of properly.

Ariella Birnbaum Ariella Birnbaum
ARTICLE2 MIN READ
How to Plan a Funeral for a Loved One

The task of planning a funeral for a loved one can make you feel overwhelmed. But, unfortunately, people typically don’t talk about what needs to get done, and without ever planning one before, you can easily miss things without the right help.

So to make sure you can go into the process feeling more prepared, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to plan a funeral for a loved one.

1. Contact a funeral director

If your loved one has pre-planned their funeral, they may have already chosen a funeral director. If so, contact their chosen funeral director or choose one of your own.

The Funeral Director is a crucial part of the funeral planning process. They help to arrange for the transfer of the deceased to a hospital and funeral home and assist with necessary funeral arrangements such as the funeral service and burial.

2. Meet with the funeral director

After choosing your funeral director, you’ll attend a funeral arrangement meeting. Here you’ll have the chance to choose the type of funeral service and share any preferences you have regarding how you want to pay tribute to your loved one.

3. Choose a minister or celebrant

Once you’ve confirmed the time and date of the funeral, you need to choose a minister or celebrant who will help finalise details of the funeral service. Depending on the type of funeral (burial or cremation), they can guide you on the service structure.


Ultimately, the minister or celebrant is someone who leads the ceremony. Your funeral director can easily put you in touch with a clergy member or civil celebrant based on your preferences. If you wish, a close friend or family member can also lead the service.

4. Plan the details of the day

After you’ve confirmed the date, location and celebrant, you need to start to organise the details of the day. These will depend on the wishes of the person who passed away. You can typically find these outlined in their Will.

Things to consider when planning a funeral include:

  • Cremation vs Burial
  • The style of casket or coffin
  • An Urn and the final resting place of the ashes
  • Will it be an open or closed casket?
  • Arranging a hearse and other vehicles from the funeral home to the cemetery
  • Music, flower arrangements and refreshments

5. Eulogy and legacy

One of the last steps in planning a funeral is writing a eulogy and choosing a legacy for your loved one. We’ve put together a guide on how to write a eulogy to make the process easier. Choosing a legacy will depend on whether your loved one requested this or if they had any charities or organisations they would like to donate to in their honour.

6. Create a visual tribute

The last step is not mandatory but is a great way to pay tribute to the person who passed. It can help other family and friends remember fond memories, share stories, and celebrate the deceased's life. You might consider accompanying the video with a special song.


Wrap Up

Understanding how to plan a funeral will make the time you need much easier and less stressful. Make sure that you honour the wishes of your loved ones by understanding their funeral preferences before they pass.

Start your will online with the help of Willed.

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