When the time comes, planning a funeral or memorial service may seem like a daunting task.  Use the checklist below to guide you through some of the decisions to be made.

Among the many decisions and options:

  1. Will it be a funeral or a memorial service? At a funeral the body is usually present, at a memorial service it is not.
  2. Will the remains be cremated, buried, donated or interred?
  3. Would you like a private viewing, visitation and/or committal service at the graveside?
  4. How soon after a loss would you like to hold the service?
  5. Who will officiate the service?  Minister, chaplain, celebrant, family friend?  Will the service be religious or spiritual or non-religious?
  6. Where will the service be held? A funeral home, a church, a park, beach or somewhere else significant to the deceased.
  7. Do you want someone to give a eulogy?
  8. Would you like to write an obituary?
  9. Are there special bible readings, poems, songs you want included in the service?
  10. Do you want a photo or video tribute of the deceased?
  11. Are there any items of the deceased you’d like present?
  12. Do you want flowers, what kind?
  13. Would you like a reception after the service? Who will cater?
  14. Would you like ceremony programs or prayer cards?
  15. How to notify distant family or friends of the service?
  16. Would you like to request a donation to a park, planting of a tree or summer camp scholarship in lieu of flowers?

Whether you lean toward a traditional funeral or a more personalized, unique celebration of life, the DIY Memorial Planner has many package options and will guide you through the process. Whatever your decision, experts agree that the shared moments with tears and even laughter can help bring comfort, healing and acceptance of your loss.