Unexpected Death – Making Arrangements

Nobody is genuinely prepared for the finality of death, handling formal funeral arrangements, making plans and decisions are difficult and sometimes seem trivial – but are necessary.  In some cases the list of things to do, handle, plan, prepare and arrange is daunting if not completely overwhelming, some people find themselves obsessing over every detail as a distraction, which is equally as stressful.  It is important to remember that the Great Wall in China was built with individual bricks, breaking down anything into simple steps any task is accomplishable, no matter how intimidating.

Being prepared by knowing exactly what to expect during the difficult process of making final arrangements for someone will allow you to be better equipped at handling the details, making important decisions and allow you time to  get organized.

The Funeral Decisions

The hardest part of decision making is committing to a decision. Hopefully your deceased loved one has made some of the difficult decisions for you such as type of burial, services, and location of choice, which is the place to start. Some of the difficult decisions that must be made for the funeral or burial service are:

 

  • Choosing burial or cremation
  • Choosing a casket or other burial container or urn
  • The location for the service and the burial ceremony
  • Memorial marker if being buried in a cemetery
  • The clothing of the deceased person and other personal artifacts to be buried with
  • Flowers, music, type of service, prayers and song selection (and food if offering)
  • Persons to invite, persons to help and to participate
  • Date and time of memorial service and announcements
  • How and where to share the information (i.e. newspaper(s) obituary, legacy.com, etc.)

The Legal Funeral Decisions

As well as the actual funeral arrangements there are many documents you will need to collect for legal and government reporting, a list of some of these items is;

• Full Name (including maiden name if applicable)
• Birth date and birthplace
• Social Security Number
• Marital Status
• Surviving family members names, locations and ages
• Residence information
• You will need probably a dozen copies of the death certificate for various government agencies

Additional Funeral Arrangement Items

Other items that you ureally should have as well are;

  • Military History and release papers (DD214 or similiar)
  • Religious denomination and affiliations
  • Professional accomplishments
  • Educational background
  • Medical history
  • A recent photograph or selection of photographs
  • The favorite perfume or cologne of the deceased
  • A treasured book, poem, song, psalm or something that can be shared with others at the service to commemorate what was personal, and dear to them. This of course could be multiple items.
  • Medical history
  • A treasured book, poem, song, psalm or something that can be shared with others at the service to commemorate what was personal, and dear to them. This of course could be multiple items.
  • All financial records, such as insurance policies and investments as well as all liabilities such as bank accounts, credit cards and recurring (monthly) bills.
Having helping hands from other family members and professionals can provide much needed support.  Dealing with the arrangements of someone’s passing is often too much for one person to handle, especially while grieving themselves.  If there was ever a time to ask for help, it would be with making the last and final decisions necessary in dealing with the death of a loved one.  There are also many printable resources in the form of checklists and to-do lists.

We hope that at this difficilt time you will allow us to be of assistance – please contact us

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