top banner

Pre-Planning Checklist

Creating a personalized funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life can be a daunting task. There's a lot that goes into it, but arranging these details beforehand gives you peace of mind knowing your wishes have been made known, time to consider options, and an opportunity to speak with family or friends. The following checklist will help you to make sure you’ve thought of everything when you begin creating your personalized plan


Pre-Planning Checklist:

Vital Statistics

This includes your date and place of birth, father’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your level of education, and your social security number.


This includes fraternal, service, or union membership, along with any special recognitions you might have

Friends and relatives who should be notified in the event of your passing

If you’re a veteran, you’ll also need to include:

  • Military service
  • Branch rank
  • Date of enlistment
  • Date of discharge
  • Name(s) of war/conflict(s) toured
  • Serial number


Ways you can plan ahead:

  • Gather personal information for your obituary
  • Choose a charity to direct donations to, if desired
  • Choose a funeral home
  • Make note of any special instructions you desire for your services and final disposition


Funeral Service

  • Choose your method of disposition (burial is an option for those who wish to be cremated)
  • Select a casket or cremation container
  • Choose the location and type of service
  • Decide whether you’d like to have a viewing or visitation
  • Choose a floral arrangement
  • Select which photographs and memorabilia you’d like to display
  • Consider any customs, traditions, or religious rites that are important to you and your family
  • Choose the clothing in which you would like to be dressed
  • Select music and hymns, if desired
  • Select a style for your stationery and memorial register book
  • Arrange transportation for your physical remains and your family
  • Brainstorm any additional ways you’d like to personalize the services or pay tribute to your accomplishments, hobbies, personality, and life story.


  • Choose a clergy member or officiator to preside over the service
  • Select any musicians whose talents you’d like to employ
  • Select pallbearers
  • Choose friends or family members to perform the eulogy, read scripture, or prepare a speech


  • Choose a cemetery burial or cremation plot (or a mausoleum, if appropriate)
  • Select a memorial or grave marker and inscription

Remember that there’s no need to make all of the decisions right away, and that the purpose of pre-planning is to allow yourself to take the time you need when considering your options and making the choices that are right for you. For personalized assistance in creating your plan, consult one of our licensed funeral directors by contacting us to schedule a one-on-one meeting.