Planning a Funeral: Five Common Questions

  1. How do I determine the viewing/calling hours?
    • Take into account those who may want to attend the service but cannot take time from work.
    • Consider afternoon and evening calling hours, if possible, but allow time in between for the family to have a meal and take a break.

      Funeral home _______________________________
      Address _____________________________________
      Day and date _______________________________
      Time _______________________________________

  2. How can I make the viewing at the funeral home more personal?
    • If possible, select music that the deceased preferred.
    • Display photos or personal items that were meaningful to the deceased and the family.
    • If you do not want to be in charge of this, ask a family member or close friend for help.

  3. What other decisions need to be made regarding the deceased?
    • Select the clothing for viewing and burial and decide what personal possessions to bury with the deceased.
    • Provide the funeral home with a current picture of the deceased to ensure as natural and familiar appearance as possible.

  4. How do I choose the pallbearers (if any)?
    Pallbearers (usually six in number) can be either relatives or close friends. Please keep in mind those who are unable to do this due to health or age reasons. If you do not choose to have pallbearers, the casket can be wheeled.
    • Name _____________________________________
      Relation to deceased __________________________
      Phone __________________ E-mail________________
    • Name _____________________________________
      Relation to deceased __________________________
      Phone __________________ E-mail ________________
    • Name _____________________________________
      Relation to deceased __________________________
      Phone __________________ E-mail________________
    • Name _____________________________________
      Relation to deceased __________________________
      Phone __________________ E-mail________________
    • Name _____________________________________
      Relation to deceased __________________________
      Phone __________________ E-mail________________
    • Name _____________________________________
      Relation to deceased __________________________
      Phone __________________E-mail ________________

  5. Who provides acknowledgment cards?
    Acknowledgment cards (thank you notes sent out after a funeral or service) can be purchased from the funeral home, the internet or card shops. Feel free to have friends and family help you with these.

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from experts and people who have shared their real life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.

Updated: 5/2009