October 12, 2020

Funeral Planning Checklist

 Tragedy can strike fast and unexpectedly and the details of planning a funeral can be a lot to handle when a family is struggling to grieve at the same time. Funeral pre-planning is one of the best things you can do for your family, so inevitably when that day comes, they don’t have to worry about anything other than remembering your life. When you pre-plan your funeral, you’ll be able to save your family and friends the stress and money. When you pre-plan you get the peace of mind knowing that if anything ever happens to you, the funeral home will take care of everything. Here are 5 things you should do when pre-planning your funeral. 

Get an Executor 

One step that is often looked over is finding someone to serve as your executor. An executor is someone you trust who will be responsible for your financial details for the funeral and burial arrangements. This could be a spouse, family member or even best friend. The executor should call any government benefits that would be in your name and make sure they are closed. These accounts could be Social Security, Veterans Affairs, etc..

Your executor should notify Social Security immediately to avoid financial and legal hassles. It is a good idea to create a list of steps for your executor in order from most important to least important. 

The Social Security website has a guide on how to report a death. You can find it here.

Make a List of People to Contact 

During the pre-planning process you should begin thinking about a list of friends and family who you wish to be contacted in preparation for the funeral. Include the name, phone number, address, and social media accounts if you know them. There may be people on your list that close family members won’t know, so leaving a note about each person describing your relationship to them wouldn’t hurt. 

The executor will make their own list of people who need to be contacted after your passing. They should contact banks, insurance companies, law firms, investment companies, etc. Anywhere that you had contact with or had finances held with, should be contacted after your death.

Close Personal Social Media Accounts 

 In today’s age, everyone has some sort of online account. It is almost impossible to find anyone without some type of social media. Things people often forget about is having someone close their social media accounts after they have passed away. Facebook has over one billion active users, yet more than 10,000 of them die every day. 

Most social media platforms will not automatically close your account after you pass away. Someone you put in charge must manually go in and either memorialize or deactivate your accounts. 

This is how long it takes before your account is deactivated on the following social media platforms: 

  • Facebook: Until memorialized or reported 
  • Twitter: Six months 
  • Pinterest: Never 
  • LinkedIn: Until reported 
  • Google: Nine months, until reported or until the time you previously set with the inactive account manager 

Here is a website with instructions on how someone can deactivate or memorize your social media accounts after you pass away. 

Plan the Service 

One of the best things that you can do before you pass away, is plan the funeral service. This is a huge burden on your loved ones if it hasn’t been planned in advance. Contact the funeral home where you want to be buried and speak with the funeral director to make all the necessary plans. The funeral director will help make plans for payment of the funeral, the type of service, where it should be held, and other necessary things to make the process go as smooth as possible for your family. 

While you’re planning your funeral, you’ll want to think about who you want to speak at the service, and any recognition for your accomplishments throughout your life. The funeral director will also help you plan flower arrangements, burial plot preparation, the type of music played and anything else you could possibly think of – or not think of. 

Get a Death Certificate 

 Getting a death certificate is very important because it allows your family to collect and file a lot of things that are based in the financial realm. Without a death certificate your family will not be able to access social security, insurance plans, and bank accounts. The executor will most likely take care of this along with their other duties, but this could be handled by anyone in the family that can be trusted. 

The death certificate can be requested through the state vital records or the funeral home where the service took place. Be aware that your family will need more than one copy of your death certificate because there are lots of different places that request it. All of your financial accounts will request it before releasing the money to a family member. A good rule of thumb is to request twice as many certificates as you’ll need, just to make sure that you have enough. 

Let Us Take the Stress 

There are a lot of different things to do when pre planning your funeral, but these are some of the most important. If you have no idea where to start even after reading this, let the staff at Wyuka Cemetery here in Lincoln, Nebraska, help. We are here to provide you with smooth service so there is no burden put onto your family when that sad day comes. Our funeral directors will sit down with you and walk you through every step, so your family can worry about celebrating your life rather than worrying about how the funeral will be payed for or who’s going to plan it. Contact our office at 402.474.3600 for more information.


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