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How to Prepare for a Loved One's Funeral Arrangements

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
How to Prepare for a Loved One's Funeral Arrangements
Funeral preparation in context. Photo Credit Thai funeral image by Adrian Hillman from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Funeral arrangements can be made in advance so that loved ones need not be burdened by making decisions when they are grieving. When a loved one dies suddenly without any prearranged burial plans, it can be a traumatic, stressful and confusing ordeal. According to the Final Arrangements Network, preplanning funeral arrangements can save money and strained emotions because there are a number of decisions that must be made and paid for.

Step 1

Pay the fee for a funeral home and funeral director to arrange for transport of your loved one, coordinate the viewing and/or funeral and file all the necessary burial permits required in your region. Basic fees range about $1,500 as of 2010.

Step 2

Read the contract with the funeral home to make sure basic services are included and what services are not. Extra details that may require an additional charge include flowers, time in the funeral home for visitations, embalming fees, staffing salaries, transportation costs and book register charge that could add thousands of dollars to your final bill.

Step 3

Buy a casket if your loved one is going to be buried. According to the National Caregivers Library, caskets vary widely in price, starting from as low as $200 and ranging up to $65,000 as of 2010. Cremation urns also can be purchased through funeral homes and range from $50 to more than $3,000 as of 2010. Funeral homes must provide you with a complete list of your options under federal law.

Step 4

Write out a list of people that you want included in the notice that goes to the newspaper. Include background and history of your loved one if you choose. Typically, the funeral home handles the notice.

Step 5

Plan the ceremony using favorite Bible verses or other significant readings. Discuss with your religious leader your preferences for the service if you are holding the service in a church. Funeral directors can help design a secular service and provide assistance with audiovisual presentations and other details.

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