topic | make funeral arrangements

Step 6: accomplish activities prior to the funeral

Managing details during this time can be overwhelming. The list below helps track activities that must be accomplished prior to the funeral. A printable version of this checklist is available by clicking this link: Funeral Preparation.

  • Arrange for a death notice or obituary to be placed in the local paper. The form Personal Information may be used to gather information.
  • Choose a florist and decide on floral arrangements for the visitation, funeral service, or burial service. Determine where the flowers will go after the service.
  • Create a list of people to contact that extend beyond “first calls”. Ensure they have the information needed in order to attend the funeral.
  • List others who should be contacted, but not necessarily before the funeral. This can include doctors, dentists, accountants, professionals and service organizations.
  • Contact clergy, if desired, and if they have not already been called. Their involvement in the funeral may be desired.
  • Arrange for short-term child or pet care.
  • Choose an organization or charity to send donations. List this organization in the obituary, and send the name and the organization to the funeral home.
  • Choose someone to answer the door and phone at the estate residence.
  • Designate someone to coordinate food for the family on days prior to the funeral and immediately following the funeral.  Caterers may be especially useful given the restrictions on time.
  • Safeguard the estate and valuables.
  • Collect mail or have it held at the Post Office.
  • If the residence is empty, discontinue newspaper delivery.




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