Funeral Planning Checklist — Your Guide to Planning a Loved One’s Funeral

Posted by: Erin Ward in Funeral Planning Resources, Funeral Advice | July 8, 2021
Like when you plan a wedding, there is a lot more that goes into funeral planning than you may think. From major decisions like burial or cremation to small details like the table centerpieces at the post-funeral reception, there are a lot of things to arrange. It can all get a bit overwhelming, especially on top of grieving a loss.

To make things a little easier, you can follow this funeral planning checklist, so you don’t forget anything important.

The Basics

After a loved one passes away, there are a few things to determine before you get into the details of funeral planning, including:

  • Information about your loved one that you want to include in the obituary.
  • Charities for donations.
  • The funeral home you’re going to work with.
  • Your funeral payment method, such as a credit card payment or crowdfunding campaign.
  • Memorial products you want for remembering your loved one.
  • Any special requests for your loved one’s funeral.


To make the visitation as personalized to your loved one as possible, you should choose:

  • Photos for the memorial displays and tribute video.
  • Your loved one’s possessions for memorial displays.
  • Music to play.
  • A funeral theme if you want one, such as a seasonal theme or a loved one’s hobby.

Funeral Service

When planning the funeral service, you need to select:

  • The location.
  • The disposition method, such as burial or cremation.
  • An officiant and any other speakers.
  • Pallbearers.
  • Readings, prayers, and any other literature.
  • Funeral flowers.
  • Funeral gifts for your guests, like a small packet of seeds or a poem.

Graveside Service

For the graveside service, you need to pick the:

  • Cemetery.
  • Burial plot, mausoleum, or ash scattering location.
  • Burial clothing.
  • Grave marker and inscription.

Post-Funeral Reception

If you’re having a post-funeral reception, you need to decide:

  • The location.
  • If you’re catering the food or having a potluck.
  • The menu.
  • The table centerpieces.
Is there anything else that we should add to the funeral planning checklist? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

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