Checklist: Pre-Planning Your Funeral or Memorial Service

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Planning your own funeral or memorial service can provide peace-of-mind to you and your family.

By planning your service in advance you can design and specify the exact type of service you’d like, so that your friends and family celebrate you as you wish. And by letting your family know how you'd like your funeral or memorial service to be, they'll have less difficult and complicated decisions to make during a difficult emotional time. To learn more about how and why to plan your funeral or memorial service in advance, click here.

Make decisions about the type of service and events you'd like to have

  • Decide on the type of service you want to have
    • I would like to have a funeral service, followed by burial or cremation
    • I would like to have a funeral service, followed by a graveside service or a service at the crematory, followed by burial or cremation
    • I would like to have only a graveside service or a service at the crematory, followed by burial or cremation
    • I would like to have a memorial service after the burial or cremation
    • I would like to have a funeral service in my own home
  • Decide if you want any other funeral events
    • I would like to have a viewing before my funeral
    • I would like to have a wake before my funeral
    • I would like to have a visitation before my funeral
    • I would like to have a reception or gathering after my funeral or memorial service
    • I would like to observe my religion’s mourning events

Identify personal touches you’d like at the service

  • I would like my funeral or memorial service to be held at the following location: ______________________________________. If this location is not available, my second choice is ______________________________________.
  • The person I would like to officiate my funeral or memorial service is ______________________________________. If this person is not available, my second choice is ______________________________________.
  • I would like the following people to serve as pallbearers:

1. _____________________________
2. _____________________________
3. _____________________________
4. _____________________________
5. _____________________________
6. _____________________________

  • I would like the following people to deliver eulogies:

1. _____________________________
2. _____________________________
3. _____________________________

  • I would like the following people to deliver prayers, poems, or other readings:

1. _____________________________
2. _____________________________
3. _____________________________

  • The readings I would like them to deliver are:

Title                                                                    Author/Source
1. __________________________          _____________________________
2. __________________________          _____________________________
3. __________________________          _____________________________

  • I would like the following songs, hymns, or pieces of music to be played:

1. _____________________________
2. _____________________________
3. _____________________________

  • I would like people to honor my memory by making a donation to one of the charity organizations that has meant a lot to me:

1. _____________________________
2. _____________________________
3. _____________________________

  • I want to be sure that the following groups, organizations, and clubs will be notified of and invited to my funeral or memorial service (such as veterans’ groups, alumni associations, sports or hobby clubs, etc.):

Name of Group/Primary Contact                   Contact Info
1. _______________________          ________________________
2. _______________________          ________________________
3. _______________________          ________________________

  • I want to be sure that the following people, whom my family may not know, will be notified of and invited to my funeral or memorial service:

Name                                                                Contact Info
1. ________________________          ________________________
2. ________________________          ________________________
3. ________________________          ________________________
4. ________________________          ________________________
5. ________________________          ________________________
6. ________________________          ________________________
7. ________________________          ________________________
8. ________________________          ________________________
9. ________________________          ________________________
10. _______________________          ________________________
11. _______________________          ________________________
12. _______________________          ________________________
13. _______________________          ________________________
14. _______________________          ________________________
15. _______________________          ________________________
16. _______________________          ________________________
17. _______________________          ________________________
18. _______________________          ________________________
19. _______________________          ________________________
20. _______________________          ________________________

Once you have finished pre planning your funeral you should create an Everplan where you can store these plans and share them with trusted deputies who will carry out your wishes. It's free and easy to create.