There’s a lot that goes into planning a funeral, but making those arrangements beforehand gives you time to consider all of your options and make sure that you’re covering all of the necessary details. The following checklist will help you to be sure you’ve thought of everything when you begin creating your personalized plan.
Remember, there is no "one size fits all" approach. Every plan is as unique as the person making the plan. Simple, offbeat, traditional...it is about you.
Information you'll need to assemble:
- This includes your father’s name, your mother’s maiden name, your level of education, and your social security number
- Also needed will be your place and date of birth, your occupation, and other information such as this that is required to file official certifications of death and other required notifications such as to Social Security, etc.
- If McCullough is your chosen funeral home, you may want to make a list of insurance, retirement, pension, survivor annuity/civil service benefits, and the like that will need to be notified and settled for your survivors. At McCullough, we have a full-time staff member, Kris Rogers - Family Benefits Coordinator, who will handle notifying and gathering needed documents and guiding the family through all of these things. She will see these things through until they are all complete for your beneficiaries. This is at no additional cost to you.
Affiliations and Other Obituary Information
- Fraternal, service, or union membership, along with any special recognitions received
- Social or civic organizations with which you have been involved
- Church or religious organization affiliation
- Charities or causes that are of importance to you
- Hobbies and interests that you have enjoyed
- Anything else you may wish to have included or said in an obituary
If you’re a veteran, you’ll also need to include:
- Military service and length of service
- Branch and highest rank attained
- Date of enlistment
- Date of discharge
- Name(s) of war/conflict(s) toured
- Serial/Service ID number
- Copy of your last Form DD-214
- Documentation if you were receiving military disability (to procure any benefits that may be due to your family as a result)
Ways in which you can plan ahead:
- Gather personal information for your obituary
- Choose a charity to which donations may be directed, if desired
- Choose a funeral home and place plans on file
- Make your family aware of these plans
- Make note of any special instructions you desire for your services and final disposition
- Do NOT rely solely on leaving your final wishes "in your will"...often this is not even looked at prior to making final arrangements.
Funeral, Memorial, Gathering, or Other Service
- Choose burial or cremation
- Select a casket or cremation container
- Choose the location and type of service
- Decide whether to have a viewing or visitation before the burial or cremation
- Choose a floral arrangement or give guidance on preferences
- Select photographs and memorabilia you’d like to display
- Consider any customs, traditions, or religious rites that are important to you and your family
- Consider any unique ceremony you may want to have such as a dove release, balloon release, butterfly release, military honors, etc.
- Choose the clothing you’d like to be dressed in
- Select music and hymns, if desired
- Brainstorm any additional ways you’d like to personalize the services; this is so meaningful to those who will attend.
- Choose an officiant, speaker, or clergy member to preside over the service
- Select specific musicians if you so desire
- Select/suggest pallbearers
- Choose/suggest friends or family members to deliver the eulogy
- Choose/suggest someone to read favorite scripture
Cemetery / Final Disposition
- Choose a final resting place for your physical or cremated remains
- Select a burial or cremation plot, mausoleum, or cremation niche, if desired
- Select a memorial or grave marker and inscription
Remember: there’s no need to make all of the decisions right away, and 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 understanding the many options and creating your plan, please call us to schedule a one-on-one meeting. If you wish, you can complete our Online Planning Form and request that we contact you once we have reviewed it and gathered any information you may have requested.