Check-List for a Funeral

Posted: 29/11/2017

When planning a funeral, it can be very overwhelming to balance your grief with having to get everything ready and organised. To make your life that little bit easier at a time like this, we have put together a check-list of things that you must organise for the funeral of a loved one.

Alternatively, you may be wanting to plan your own funeral or the funeral of a loved one in advance – then this check-list still applies and can help you get started. Planning a funeral in advance is becoming far more popular and can save a lot of stress. It also means that it can be designed to suit the tastes of the person who’s funeral it is down to a T.

Planning in advance

If you are wanting to plan your funeral in advance, there are a few things to consider yourself.

You will need to make decisions based on the type of service and events you would like to have. Will you be wanting a religious ceremony? Would you want a funeral service followed by a cremation or a burial? Would you want a graveside service? Do you want to have your funeral service after the cremation or burial? Where do you want the service: holy building? Home? Would you want an open casket?

You should also identify which personal touches you will want incorporated into your service. This can include bigger things like location and smaller things like decoration. You can also choose who it is that you would like to speak, say the prayers, poems and deliver the eulogies. Which songs of hymns would you like to have played/sung at your funeral.

Something a lot of people do nowadays is ask that people give to a charity of the deceased choice in their memory. You may want to have a think about whether you would want to do this and if so, which charities or organisations you would wish to help out.

You can also set out a list of people that you wish to invite to your funeral so that your family know exactly who you would want present on the day.

Finding a funeral director

Most funerals are organised by and arranged through a funeral director. When looking for a funeral director, it is important to find a one who belongs to one of the professional associations, such as the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), as these associations have codes of practice and complaints procedures.

The services of a funeral director include quite a bit, so you won’t have to worry about the small but essential details if you are to go with a funeral director. If you choose not to go through a funeral director, these are the things that they would normally provide that you need to consider sorting out:

  • Arranging the transportation of the deceased

  • Preparing the of the body

  • Consulting with the family and close friends of the deceased

  • Handling and submitting all the paperwork and legal documents, including registering the death

  • Dealing with the deceased’s personal affairs and estate.

  • A plain, lined coffin – you can choose to upgrade this yourself.

  • Sourcing and providing the necessary people to carry the coffin

  • The flower arrangements

  • A more expensive coffin and fittings then provided under a basic plan

  • Press notices of the death

  • A medical certificate that is required for cremation to take place, and any doctor’s fees for signing this may be included

  • An organist to play at the service

  • Fees required for religious services

  • A burial or crematorium fee. The burial fee will usually include the costs of preparing the grave

  • Any extra cars needed

  • Embalming

  • The use of the Chapel of Rest

  • Transport from the mortuary

  • Special viewing arrangements

  • The cost of journeys of more than ten miles to the funeral director’s premises

  • a memorial of your choice

  • The catering arrangements

  • Helping in arranging for the ashes to be scattered or preserved in a memorial casket once the cremation has taken place

  • Arranging ‘thank you’ cards, if required

  • In necessary, orgainsing the deceased body to be transferred for cremation or burial in a different area of the country or in an entirely different country.

To find out more about what a funeral director does, click here.

Burial or Cremation

The way in which the body is treated after death is of great importance. You will need to decide on burial or cremation.

Burial is more traditional, but cremation is becoming a lot more popular and is actually cheaper than burial.

If you opt for burial, the cost will be higher as you will have to pay for a space to be buried in and a decent coffin. If you are cremated, you can avoid having to pay for a place of rest as you can have the ashes scattered anywhere. However, it must be said that you will still be required to pay a fee if you scatter your ashes in a graveyard or bury the ashes in an urn.


If you are burying the body or the urn, or even scattering the ashes in a specific place, you will have to think about sourcing or making a headstone, grave marker or plaque. You need to also consider what you will have written on the headstone, marker or plaque.

Pre-paid Funeral Plans

Here at Perfect Funeral Plans, we offer the option of going with a prepaid funeral plan to ease your mind, if you want to learn more, click here.