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Arranging A Funeral


Arranging a funeral can be an overwhelming task in such a grievous time. There will never be a funeral in a time that has not already become extremely difficult. If you are interested in solving problems you'll need a bit of knowledge. In this article we will look at funeral planning tips as a guide to help you in planing a loved one's funeral. In the event of a tragic drug overdose, the burden often falls on family members to arrange a loved one's funeral.

Funerals typically take place with relatives and friends present, nearby to the loved one's home. In cases where no funeral service can be ordered by local authorities and health officials, the family will need to plan and provide the service for a funeral. Possibly, the deceased gave instructions on what funerals or burial type they wanted. These instructions may be subject to local laws, depending on the deceased's wishes. Learn how funeral arrangements and the funeral process work below.

Funeral Arrangements


When friends or a loved ones die, the details must be taken care of. Arranging a funeral can be incredibly stressful in these uncertain times. Sometimes it's a very difficult task to be a part of, for you to arrange a funeral for a loved one. This information may ease your difficult time.

We will guide you through the process of planning your funeral, from making the initial call to the arrangements after the death. You can get the information you need for a death notification by visiting your local funeral directors website. They are often responsible for publishing the obituary, although we recommend writing the heartfelt tribute yourself.

How to Arrange a Funeral?


Organizing funerals can appear a daunting undertaking when faced with a challenge, and yet the process of grieving is important. If the deceased wishes were left behind, that is a good starting point. If no direction was given, as is often the case when someone has no preparations who was gone before their time, discuss options and ideas with close family members. After all it was your loved one who has passed, you knew them better than anyone else and even without instructions will know what they would have wanted. You will also need to figure out the clothing for the deceased.

To get guidance on organizing the funeral, creating the necessary paperwork, getting the death certificate, and preparing the burial space at a cemetery, speak with a funeral director. Make the ceremony your own by singing songs and adding decorations; it will be a touching tribute to their life. Of course, adhere to any required faith customs when making funeral arrangements.

Start Planning Immediately


Funerals happen fast, often just a few days after your loved one has passed away. Arranging a funeral, no matter how tough it mat seem at this time, should begin right away.

  • First notify local law enforcement immediately.They will alert the local coroner in your area. They need to legally declare the person deceased so that you can obtain a death certificate. If this happened in a medical facility, they will take care of this for you.

  • Call or visit a local funeral director to start planning. Nobody is ever ready for this step. It is however vital that you call right away to start the funeral and grieving process. The director is responsible for setting up the services, transport, and legal paper work, this can eliminate a lot of the stress.

Compare various funeral houses in your area. Examine their services and inclusions, and take into account which burial director makes you feel the most at ease.

  • Arrange to have your loved one transported to a funeral home. The funeral director will arrange this during your first conversation with them. Pick a funeral home close to where they lived.
  • The home takes care of washing and dressing your loved one and can help you arrange further transportation in the event you wish to have the services somewhere else, for instance in a place of worship. 

Hire a Funeral Director


Discuss the funeral plans and costs with the director. After the deceased were transported to the home, talk to the director again to start planning. It helps to visit them in person to go over all your options visually. A lot of choices are to be made in what is surely a difficult time, so you may want a friend or family to come along for support.

  • Ask the director for a written printout of the costs and a breakdown of each, so you budget and make any changes to the arrangements as necessary.

If you are unable to leave home, ask the funeral director if they will visit you. Some directors may be willing to do this, others may not so you will need to talk to them by phone.

  • Getting a written estimate. The funeral director will provide you with an estimated quote which includes all itemized costs for arranging a funeral. When comparing costs, you can call different funeral directors or crematorium and ask costs to compare.

Do not choose a funeral director that will not include prices for comparisons.

Paying for the Funeral Services


Funeral Homes or Crematoriums will have a standard pricing listing at their location and their website which should give you an idea of what you should be paying for funeral costs. Most of the time a funeral home requires a depositbefore making funeral arrangements. This is often a problem in the event of a drug overdose death. Many addicts overdose suddenly without any funds available in their bank accounts. Because it is so sudden and tragic, and the victims are often young, many families have no estate plan in place for the funeral to be paid for the person. You may need to look to get bank loans to pay for the funeral plans.

Before Their Time works to help alleviate some of this burden for families that have suffered an unbearable loss.

Agree to a Payment Plan

Many funeral directors and memorial homes will let you to pay in installments. They may ask for a deposit up front however, before arranging a funeral. Make sure to discuss all payment options before signing the contract.

  • Remember some people who pass away don’t have enough money in their bank account to pay for a funeral, leaving family and close friends to pay for it.

  • In the case where the deceased’s bank account has enough to pay, remember that the funds will not be available once the bank is notified of the death.

Signing a Contract

You'll probably need to agree to contracts with funeral directors. Continue reading and consult a funeral director for any questions that may come to mind as you read. The funeral director will create a contract once you've decided to take their assistance. Give it a thorough read and allow any questions you may have be asked. You accept responsibility for any services the director renders by signing the contract. Make sure that every one of the numerous details regarding what is required of the funeral director are clearly stated as line items. The family is going through a difficult period, so you might forget some details.

What Kind of Funeral Service do You Want to Arrange?


A deceased person may have left instructions on what funeral they were planning. For those who don't give their wishes, family will have to determine what kind of service they want. A funeral home is ready to take care of the funeral arrangements for you. Funeral Directors can cater for any funeral service ranging from traditional religious services, to a personal celebration of the life, and can assist in arranging it to reflect the life of your beloved.

Choose the type of funeral service you want. The funeral director will ask if you want a burial or cremation. Have the director explain the benefits of each option before you decide. No matter what, you will need to arrange for a burial spot at a cemetery.

  • You will have to choose when the funeral should take place. Most take place a couple days after the death occurred, although some are held at a later date.

  • For religious services, notify the funeral director and the place of worship of your lost one.

If the departed did not already have a burial plot or crematorium service, you will need to reserve a spot. Ask your family friends for more information. Get in touch with the cemetery or crematorium to purchase them a location if they don't already have one. These can occasionally be found in the receipt for the funeral service. Otherwise, you'll have to make a payment to the cemetery or crematorium owners.

Planning the Service

There are many options and details to consider for the actual funeral service. This part of the process will seem like the most daunting of all the funeral plans. This is a very stressful time and close friends can be of some comfort. Remember your loved one in this time and let them guide you in picking the many details of the funeral plan that most suited them.

Did they have any special requests? What music did they like? What kind of clothes did they wear in life? Taking a moment to reflect on your loved one's here will help reduce stress and make for a service they would be proud of.

Choosing a Casket

Coffins come in various sizes and are mostly made from a variety of woods and vary in cost. Besides appearances, there’s little difference between the options. The funeral director will ask you right away to select the coffin, but you may also order one online from a website. Get advice from family before you decide on a coffin.

  • Be aware of religious customs. In a Muslim funeral, for example, the deceased is often wrapped in a shroud, it is the minimum required to cover the body.

Deceased’s Wishes

Did they create a will? Visit the local probate court clerk's office to see if they made a will. They may have left instructions in the paperwork and you can use the deceased's wishes for make arranging the funeral easier.

  • You are under no obligation to follow the wishes written in the will, but honoring those requests would mater to the departed.

  • Think of what the deceased said to you or family members in the past. They might have mentioned what they wanted in a memorial service.

For example, if did not like traditional funerals, you might want something outdoors or in the event of cremation, scatter their ashes at their favorite spot with close friends present. If not you will need to purchase an urn to keep the ashes in.


Decide where the funeral will take place. Many funerals take place in a funeral home soon after death. This is the simplest option, but you may also choose to hold it at the gravesite, in a house or in a church. You will need to choose the location and pick a day and time, then contact the funeral director to transport the deceased’s body there.

Schedule Wake

Sometimes people gather for special events such as wakes, church services, or family dinners for part of the funeral process, depending on culture and religion. Choose events that are practical to honor the deceased. This also and also gives guests a chance to visit and grieve. For example, some family may have a meeting at a house or chapel that include prayers or a church service before the funeral and dinner after.

Schedule Viewing Time

Wakes and viewings take place prior to the funeral ceremony and must be scheduled. For friends and family to view the deceased, specific times may be reserved. A schedule must be established with the funeral facility.

Obituary Release

Contact local newspapers to announce that your loved one has died in the obituary section, most newspapers today also post it to their website. Apart from that, contact family and friends and let them know directly. If the person who passed had a place of worship, also contact them to notify them of the funeral plan and memorial service.

It is important to make sure everyone knows when someone dies, so contact as many people as possible.



Transportation to the burial ground will need to be arranged. Funeral homes and mortuary services provide a hearse to carry the body to cemetery or crematorium for a fee, which may be included in your contract. The costs involved for this add up, but you may rent black cars or limousines to transport guests in a funeral procession. Decide whether or not you want to have everyone make their own way to the burial ground, if trying to save money. Carefully discuss these options with family and friends for advice.

Funeral Details


No matter how prepared the family members are for the funeral process, there are often small details that may get overlooked. When a loved one dies you should expect to feel devastated with waves of confusion and sadness. For guidance, let's take a look at some helpful tips that may serve you well in your time of stress.

Clothing for the person who died will need to be arranged. Select clothing from their personal wardrobe, think of what displays their personality. Many people choose to honor someone who passed by dressing them in a suit, although you may choose favorite things like a special t-shirt. I personally want to be buried in my jeans and t-shirt.

  • The funeral home will wash the body. They may also provide clothing if you are unable.

Creating a Memorial

A compassionate way to honor a life is to customize ceremony with forms of music and decorations. Gather any pictures you wish to share, music you want to play, and other decorations you might want to display to honor your departed. Many homes will select flowers or music for you if you don't want to.

  • Choose their favorite type of flower or bring in flowers that you knew they themselves enjoyed.

  • Make a video with pictures and music. in this modern day of technology this is easily achievable by doing it yourself, it is free and simple to make. If they liked rock music, you can play their favorite songs instead of organ music.

You may set out a guest book so that everyone can sign their name. It’s a helpful reminder of who came to support during this trying time. You can purchase a guest book a guest book from an office supply store.


After the ceremony, eulogies are typically read from a page and consist of family or acquaintances speaking about their deceased. It's wise to refrain from pressuring people into speaking if they don't feel comfortable doing so. It's acceptable to politely decline to talk if you don't want to.

  • A religious leader will speak and say a prayer if that was the custom of your family.

  • The one arranging the event, is probably expected to talk. Talk about the person's life, the relationship you had together. Some people include jokes to lighten the mood. This is a celebration of life and although somber when someone dies, you should remember the happy times as well


Pallbearers take the coffin to the hearse, once the service is over, and then to the burial site at the cemetery. Usually close friends and family, that are willing and have the strength carry the casket. You will need to choose at least 4 people for this.

  • In the event of a cremation, someone will need to take home the ashes. This is either a close family member or friend who has the option to keep the ashes in an urn or scatter them in a place the loved one enjoyed during life.


After someone has died, many cultures provide comfort food for after the funeral. Food is a comforting distraction, plan on having a meal when the service is done. This can be done by either calling a catering company, preparing food at home with other guests or family, or by going to at restaurant after the service.

  • Cooking is the last thing many people feel like doing, so providing food and company for other guests can go a long way towards comfort.
  • Should you choose to provide food, remember it does not need to be complicated or expensive. Small sandwiches, cakes, and coffee will do just fine.

Services Provided by Funeral Directors


Funeral arrangements generally occur by the funeral director. Choose someone with a professional affiliation like the National Association of Funeral Directors - NAFD or SAIF. The governing body has guidelines for compliance and procedures. Authorities operate their own funeral services through arrangements with local funeral directors.

A standard funeral, once purchased, will probably include: a simple lined coffin, transporting the deceased body to the funeral directors' premises, (usually, ten miles from where death occurred) and ensuring his or her care. It includes washing and dressing the dead person and disposing of their bodies, but does not contain embalming. Other services a funeral director may provide that are available include flower delivery. When arranging a funeral please be sure to ask the facility what is included, and expect a detailed printout of what the money will cover.

Arranging a Funeral Without a Funeral Director


There may not always be a local burial director available for a funeral. For help and answers, those who need more information should get in touch with their local government, cemeteries, or crematory department. You will need to make arrangements to register the death certificate if you aren't dealing with a director. Once the passing has been legally verified by a medical expert, you can obtain the official death certificate required for burial or cremation. When completing the papers on your own, get in touch with the registrar or vital statistics office.

  • The death certificate should be obtained within 5 to 10 days of death, but before the funeral or cremation takes place.

Funeral Planning Tips

Keep an eye on your local laws because death is recorded differently across the country, although this article has some general advice the exact details may vary. Direct cremation provides an inexpensive and efficient choice. You can pay for the deceased to be collected at hospital, home, or an alternative place and be cremated instantly.

Know your funeral rights. There are laws in place to ensure a funeral director does not take advantage of your grief by inflating prices. When you contact a funeral home for funeral planning and family services, do not let them take advantage of your grief!

Unfortunately, some funeral directors can be pushy and try to inflate the cost of burial and cremation services.